Bunnings says sausage sizzles still on despite new food safety regulations

Whether it’s a democracy sausage on election day or a trip to the local Bunnings over the weekend, Australians will still be able to enjoy volunteer-run sizzles despite the advent of new food safety regulations cracking down on foodborne illnesses.

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand has introduced tighter mandates for workers handling food, with employees across a range of businesses now required to undergo online training in food safety before dishing out ready-to-eat food to customers.

“Food businesses … must ensure all food handlers have completed a food safety training course, or have appropriate skills and knowledge, before they start handling high-risk foods,” the regulations state.

But major retailer Bunnings, which regularly hosts a weekend sausage sizzle outside its stores, has moved to reassure customers their beloved cook-ups will continue.

The new regulations exempt volunteer-run or charity events that handle food, and Bunnings director of store operations Ben Camire said the exemptions likely covered Bunnings sizzles.

“As community groups host sausage sizzles at our stores for fundraising and charitable purposes, it’s our understanding they’re exempt from the new safety standards scheduled to come into effect later this year,” he said.

“However, we provide all groups with guidelines to help them meet the food handling requirements set by their local councils and get the most out of their fundraising.”

The new standards are set to launch in December.

“We’ve been supporting thousands of local community groups via fundraising sausage sizzles for well over two decades,” Mr Camire said.

“The fact many families make it a tradition to visit their local Bunnings store on the weekend, grab a snag and raise money for local causes brings our team a lot of joy.”

The online course covers the safe handling of food, food contamination, cleaning and sanitising of food premises and equipment, and personal hygiene.

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