Food Safety Program

All food businesses have the opportunity to apply to have a Food Safety Program (FSP) accredited with Council. However, licensable food businesses must have an accredited FSP if:

  • the food business involves offsite catering
  • the primary activity of the food business in onsite catering at the premises
  • the primary activity of the food business is on-site catering at part of the premises stated in the licence
  • a food business is carried on as part of the operations of a private hospital or otherwise processes or serves potentially hazardous foods to six or more vulnerable persons (for example, childcare centres, Meals on Wheels, aged care facilities).

Council is responsible for accrediting FSPs for food businesses located within the Brisbane local government area. If the primary location of your food business is outside of Brisbane, you should contact the local government that approved your food business licence. This is a requirement of the Food Act 2006.

Purpose of a Food Safety Program

A FSP is a program that is designed to help businesses to:

  • identify food safety hazards
  • identify control measures for these hazards
  • provide systematic monitoring of food safety hazards.

An important part of a FSP is record keeping. Record keeping assists food businesses demonstrate compliance with the risk mitigation processes and procedures for hazards identified in the FSP. It is important to regularly review the program to ensure its meeting the needs of the food business.

Food businesses that require a Food Safety Program

Examples of food businesses that require a FSP include:

  • a spit roast catering company partially prepares food at one place (their principal place of business), then finishes preparations and serves potentially hazardous food at the event or function site (for example, in a park, private property or hired hall)
  • a function centre prepares and serves potentially hazardous food, predominantly for wedding receptions, but also has a small restaurant where prospective patrons can dine or return for an anniversary dinner. The primary activity is catering for functions
  • a restaurant in a hotel has an additional dining room with extra seating. The room is used primarily for catered functions separate to the remainder of the business. Catering is provided on average to 200 or more people each month
  • a childcare centre provides morning tea, cooked lunches and afternoon tea to the children at the centre each day.

Other food businesses that are not required to have a FSP may still choose to apply for accreditation of a food safety program. However, the business will be required to have a third party audit completed by an approved auditor at the audit frequency set by Council. There are costs associated with engaging an approved auditor to complete these audits.

Developing a Food Safety Program

A FSP is a documented program that identifies and controls food safety risks and hazards in a food business.  The content of a FSP for a food business must:

  1. identify all food safety hazards that are reasonably or likely to occur in food handling operations of the food business
  2. identify where, in a food handling operation of the food business, each hazard can be controlled and the means of control
  3. provide for the monitoring of the means of control
  4. provide appropriate corrective actions to be taken when a hazard is not under control
  5. provide for regular review of the program to ensure it is appropriate for the food business
  6. provide for the keeping of appropriate records for the food business, including records about action taken to ensure the business is carried on in accordance with the program.

There are several FSP examples available from Queensland Health to assist food businesses to develop a food safety program that is relevant to the food business. It should be noted that the Queensland Health examples are only tools to assist in developing your program – all activities hazards, controls, corrective actions and monitoring must be site specific to your business.

Accredited Food Safety Programs

FSPs are to be developed to the site-specific operations of the food business. If a licensee has more than one licensed food business, a separate FSP is required for each premises.

After your FSP has been developed specifically for your business, you must have an approved auditor (registered on the Queensland Health website) complete a Notice of Written Advice.

Notice of Written Advice is written advice from an approved auditor that the FSP complies with the legislative requirements and addresses all food safety hazards associated with the business.

Once you have the Notice of written advice, you will be required to make an application to Council to have the FSP accredited. A copy of the Notice of written advice must accompany the application.

It is recommended that the food safety program application for accreditation be submitted to Council at the same time as the Food Business Licence application.

Amendment to accredited Food Safety Program

An amendment of an existing accredited food safety program is required if the licensee proposes to change the way food is handled in the food business.

Before changing the food handling processes, you must amend the food safety program to ensure:

  • the program identifies the proposed changes to food safety hazards
  • implementation of the program will effectively control the proposed changes to food safety hazards.

Note: when applying for an amendment to accredit an existing accredited food safety program, you are not required to submit a Notice of written advice.


As a general guide, Council fees that may apply for the 2022-23 financial year are outlined below.

Table showing category, application fee for accreditation and amendment to accredited Food Safety Program.
Category Application for accreditation fee Amendment to accredited Food Safety Program fee
5 - 250 square metres $731.15 $530.55
Up to 1000 square metres $836.75 $636.20
Greater than 1000 square metres $1294.10 $674.60

These fees do not attract GST.

How to apply

To apply to have your FSP accredited or amendments to an existing FSP approved, you can:

You need to supply the following with your application:

  • an electronic copy of the FSP
  • notice of written advice from an approved auditor (not required if submitting an amendment application).

Once Council has received all the relevant information, the timeframe for accreditation is generally 30 days. We will contact you if additional information is required.

Food Safety Program - third party audit report

Once the FSP is accredited, Council will set an audit frequency. You will then be required to ensure that a third party auditor carries out an audit of the FSP at the frequency set by Council.

Auditors can submit their Third Party Audit Reports to Council through the FSP Third Party Audit Report Online application.

To make a hard copy application, access the online form and print a copy.

More information

For more information phone Council's Business Hotline on 133 BNE (133 263) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Potentially hazardous food

Potentially hazardous food needs to be kept below 5°C or above 60°C to minimise the growth of bacteria in the food.

Examples of potentially hazardous food include:

  • raw and cooked meat or foods containing meat, such as casseroles, curries and lasagne
  • dairy products, for example milk, custard, and dairy based desserts
  • seafood excluding live seafood
  • processed fruits and vegetables, for example salads
  • cooked rice and pasta
  • foods containing eggs, beans, nuts, or other protein rich foods, such as quiche and soy products
  • foods that contain these foods such as sandwiches and rolls.

Related information

Last updated: 25 July 2022

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