The short answer- The Food Safety Standards requires that all food handlers take all practicable measures to ensure anything from their body or clothing does not contaminate food or food contact surfaces, including minimising direct contact with ready-to-eat food. However, it does not specifically require food handlers to cover their hair with a hat, or wear food handler gloves, to comply with the law. It is up to the food business to decide what is a 'practicable measure' in the workplace. For example, will you have a hat or hairnet policy in the kitchen, or simply hair neatly tied back. It is important that the food business writes a Uniform Policy or Hygiene Standard so that the requirements are clear to your staff members.
If you require staff to wear food handler gloves, ensure that they change the gloves as often as they would have washed their hands (i.e. between tasks, between touching different kinds of foods, if they touch their body with the gloves, or handle money etc.).
In some situations it may not be safe to be wearing gloves while handling food, for example while handling sharp knives while chopping slippery foods like pumpkin or lettuce, or when undertaking 'hot' processes like using the toaster or cooking, where the glove may melt onto the hand.
However, whether you wear gloves or not, good hand washing practices are always required under the law
The longer answer-Food Act 2006
Every business selling food is required to comply with the Food Act 2006 (the Act), regardless of whether they are required to be licensed with local government or not.
Food safety and hygiene
The Food Safety Standards are part of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) and apply across all of Australia. The standards reflect international best practice. Taken together, they are based on a preventative approach to the incidence of food-borne illness in Australia and are designed to help ensure that food businesses in Australia produce food that is safe to eat. The Food Safety Standards outline obligations of food businesses, regardless of whether they are required to be licensed by local government or not, in relation to:
- food handling, including the receipt, storage, processing, display, packaging, transportation, disposal and recall
- personal health and hygiene requirements
- skills and knowledge requirements for food handlers
- cleaning, sanitising and maintenance
- provision of thermometers
- pest control
- design, construction and fit-out of premises.
Standard 3.2.2 - Food Safety Practices and General Requirements sets out specific food handling controls related to the receipt, storage, processing, display, packaging, transportation, disposal and recall of food. Other requirements relate to the skills and knowledge of food handlers and their supervisors, the health and hygiene of food handlers, and the cleaning, sanitising and maintenance of the food premises and equipment within the premises. If complied with, these requirements will ensure that food does not become unsafe or unsuitable.http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/industry/safetystandards/safetypractices/pages/default.aspx