If you are producing eggs within a Queensland school, and selling or supplying them to others (including teachers, parents, or the local community), then you must hold an accreditation with Safe Food. ‘Supply’ includes the act of giving eggs away for free.
Why do schools need to be accredited?
Eggs are classified as a high-risk food by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), the international governing body that develops international food standards. Chapter 4 of Australia’s Food Standards Code has been developed recognising these internationally agreed Codex guidelines.
Eggs are considered a high-risk food because of the porous nature of the eggshell. This means that nasty pathogens found in the environment, such as Salmonella and E. coli, can infect an egg and go on to make people sick if not handled or cooked properly.
Children, pregnant women and the elderly are especially vulnerable to food borne illness from eggs. These populations are directly involved with schools, which is why it is important that all schools in Queensland adhere to the same food safety standards when it comes to egg production.
Teaching children about egg safety
One of the most common reasons people get food poisoning is because they don’t know how to handle, store or cook food correctly. Schools play an important role in teaching students the fundamentals in food safety, to reduce their risk of foodborne illness and develop important life skills. For this reason, Safe Food asks schools to submit a copy of their curriculum when applying for accreditation to demonstrate that students are being taught about safe egg handling practices.
Things like washing hands thoroughly after handling chickens and eggs, removing cracked or dirty eggs from the supply chain, and stamping each egg with a unique identifier, are important food safety practices that all egg businesses in Queensland must follow. Teaching these skills in schools will better equip students who may wish to pursue a career in agriculture or food production in the future.
How does my school become accredited with Safe Food?
Schools should visit this page of our website to determine if they require an accreditation with Safe Food and what to submit if they do.
Are there fees involved?
Schools that require an accreditation will not incur an application or accreditation fee. However, depending on the scale of egg production at your school, you may be subject to an audit or assessment by Safe Food each year to verify compliance with Queensland’s Egg Food Safety Scheme, which will incur a fee.
For more information, please refer to these Frequently Asked Questions.