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Food safety unit standard information


Important information for businesses serving food and for Territorial Local Authorities

Why is there a new food safety standard?

Qualifications, and the standards that make them up, are reviewed from time to time to make sure that they’re relevant, up to date and fit for purpose. A recent review included food safety standards. This took into account not only the standards but also that NZQA generally requires professional qualifications to be at Level 3 or 4.

Food safety unit standard 167 (Practise food safety methods in a food business under supervision, 4 credits), which is at Level 2, was one of those reviewed. The outcome was that a new food safety standard was created for Level 3, while Standard 167 remains at Level 2.

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What is the new standard?

The new Level 3 unit standard is 27955 (Apply food safety practices in a food related business, 5 credits). It is similar to 167, but raises the bar a little. It includes a bit more theory / knowledge, as well as lifting the evidence requirements a little, in order to match NZQA’s requirements for a Level 3 standard. It moves from 4 to 5 credits, effectively requiring another 10 hours of learning, practice and assessment.

It is a mandatory unit standard in the new cookery and restaurant service, quick service restaurants (QSR) and catering services qualifications, as well as the new NZ apprenticeship in cookery.

The purpose of the standard is stated as:

“This entry-level unit standard is for people working in a food related business handling food and who need to use safe food practices to prevent cross contamination.”

The outcomes are: 

  • Demonstrate knowledge of food safety requirements in a food related business.
  • Apply personal hygiene requirements to work practices in a food related business.
  • Apply safe food practices when handling food in a food related business. 

Is the older food safety standard 167 still applicable?

Yes. 167 is one of the most widely used standards in the framework. It can continue to be delivered in schools for school students doing hospitality courses, and as a standalone compliance unit for retail businesses and others where food safety is important.

Unit Standard 167 is widely used by local authorities as acceptable evidence of food safety training and is often held by employees in supermarkets, dairies, etc, where food is supplied, as well as in some food manufacturing or processing operations. Standard 167 still meets these requirements and is fit for purpose.

The original and still key use of the standard is for anyone training in professional cookery, and was a pre-requisite for every cookery unit standard. Every qualified chef in NZ holds unit standard 167. For professional cookery qualifications, which all start at level 3, the new unit standard is additional to unit standard 167.

What is the modified suite of food safety standards?

Level 2

167 – Practise food safety methods in a food business under supervision. (4 credits)
20666 – Demonstrate a basic knowledge of contamination hazards and control methods used in a food business. (2 credits)

Level 3

27955 – Apply food safety practices in a food related business. 
(5 credits)
168 – Demonstrate knowledge of food contamination hazards, and control methods used in a food business. (4 credits)

Level 4

15275 – Monitor staff under a food safety programme in a food related business. (15 credits)

What training and assessment material does ServiceIQ have for these unit standards?

ServiceIQ offers a number of different products for training and assessing food safety unit standards. Listed below are our most popular products. You can search on the unit standard number to find them in our hospitality shop.

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Individual Training Packs (ITP)

An Individual Training Pack (ITP) consists of learning material and assessment for a single unit standard.

  • 167 ITP for Employees/Students
  • 20666 ITP for Employees/Students
  • 27955 ITP for Employees/Students
  • 168 ITP for Employees/Students
  • 15275 ITP for Employees/Students

For more information, please contact ServiceIQ on 0800 863 693 or email