School operations

Food Handling in Canteens


The purpose of this policy is to ensure school food premises are operated safely and food is handled appropriately.


School canteens are Class 2 food premises and must demonstrate that food is safe to eat in accordance with the Food Act 1984 (Vic) (the Act).

School councils must ensure that school canteens meet legislative requirements under the Act by:

  • having a food safety supervisor with the training, skills and knowledge to ensure that:
    • all regulations are followed
    • anyone handling food has the correct training
  • ensuring a food safety program is prepared based on the Department of Health and Human Services template. Information on where schools can purchase this template can be found in the Resources section
  • lodging the food safety program with the municipal council at the time of registration and re-registration

Information on the recommended practices that will assist schools in complying with food safety and food handling regulations can be found in the Guidance tab.


Class 2 premises
Class 2 food premises are those whose main activity is handling unpackaged potentially hazardous foods which need correct temperature control during the food handling process, including cooking and storage, to keep them safe. This includes restaurants, fast food outlets, pubs, caterers, delicatessens, supermarkets with delicatessens, cafes and most manufacturers.

For more information on the classification of food premises, refer to food business classification on the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Relevant legislation

Department policy on safe food handling in school canteens

Reviewed 17 February 2021

Policy last updated

15 June 2020


  • Schools
  • School councils


Health Promotion, Prevention and Advice

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