The 5 Biggest Food Safety Mistakes Made By Australian Business

With more than 5 million cases of food poisoning every year in Australia, food safety seems to be a message that still isn’t getting through in some quarters.

Legislation requires businesses to observe strict food safety practices when handling and preparing food for public consumption.

Unfortunately, the five biggest food safety mistakes listed here all relate to breaches of these long-standing practices:sickness

Mistake One: Poor hygiene

  • Whether it’s to save time or simply due to forgetfulness, some people still don’t wash their hands before and after handling food.
  • Hands are also not being washed after using the bathroom, handling money or sneezing.
  • People are still performing food preparation tasks even when they know they are unwell and could pass their illness onto others.

Mistake Two: Inadequate cleaning

  • Surfaces that come in contact with food are not always being thoroughly washed with hot, soapy water.
  • Dishcloths are being used to clean kitchen surfaces instead of paper towels.
  • The five-second rule is still sometimes being applied when food is dropped on the floor (despite the fact that bacteria cling to food almost immediately).

Mistake Three: Contamination

  • Cross contamination, especially when it involves meat, is still a big concern. Some people still store cooked food below raw food in the refrigerator, resulting in dripping and contamination.
  • Knives and cutting boards used to prepare raw foods are being re-used to prepare other foods, without being washed and dried first.

Mistake Four: Wrong temperatures

  • Meat is being marinated or defrosted outside the fridge.
  • Correct temperatures that are outside the ‘danger zone’ for bacteria are not being observed (i.e. fridges should be set at below 5 degrees Celsius and food should be cooked to above 60 degrees Celsius)

Mistake Five: Wrong times

  • Non-Refrigerated perishable food is being used long after it should be thrown out.
  • There is still a mistaken belief that keeping food that’s a few days past its ‘use by’ date is a perfectly acceptable practice.

Obviously, no business wants to poison their customers and it can often be the result of an honest mistake. So the best way to ensure you have all the right safeguards in place is to undertake training for you and your staff.

Food safety is everybody’s business and it’s only when we all start taking responsibility for our own actions that we’ll see any noticeable reduction in the number of Australians who suffer illness and even death from food poisoning every year.

CFT International offer a variety of training options for you and your business.

Go to our website to see more details, or call us directly on 1300 665 633.


Are you Putting Your Business and Your Customers at Risk?

When you choose an RTO (Registered Training Organisation), you naturally assume they are fully qualified and will deliver up-to-date, compliant training to your staff.

don't let your business suffer

Is your training organisation up to scratch?

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) is the national regulatory body for Australia’s vocational education and training sector (VET).

They have the task of ensuring that RTOs meet the required standards. but if you visit their website, you might be surprised at the number of RTOs and CRICOS (those enrolling international students) who are not doing a very good job.

ASQA has published a list of decisions made in the past year ( and it makes for very interesting reading.

ASQA publishes this information in accordance with the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 and it includes decisions to impose sanctions and to reject renewals by certain RTOs and CRICOS.

The number of cancellations, suspensions and rejections documented is quite surprising and suggests that there are a lot of so-called training providers out there who just don’t have what it takes to deliver quality training.

So do you know how your current RTO measures up? Can you be certain that your staff are receiving high quality training that conforms to the ASQA guidelines?

One way to tell is to see how they rate using the following checklist.

A good RTO will always:

  • provide training that is quality assured and nationally recognised
  • have trainers with significant industry experience
  • have experience working with similar businesses in your industry
  • tailor training to suit your particular business
  • deliver training that is clear, concise and engaging
  • provide training where and when you need it.

An organisation that has all these qualities and more is CFT International, one of Australia’s leading RTO’s, specialising in food safety training conducted online, in-class and onsite.

A member of the Australian Food Safety Trainers Network, CFT International has trained more than 40,000 people in the hospitality, retail, food processing and health sectors. We offer professional training delivered by industry experts, with a focus on ‘what you need to know’.

So before you engage any old RTO to train your staff, find out who you’re dealing with and what their track record tells you. If you don’t, you may find out the hard way by seeing their name in the ASQA’s next regulatory report.

For further information on training with CFT International, go to