From 1 January 2020 businesses must have transitioned from FSQ4 to FSQ4.1.

Following the release of FSQ4.2 on 9 November 2020, businesses can choose to be audited to FSQ4.1 or FSQ4.2 until 2 May 2021.

From the 3 May 2021, all audits will be to the FSQ4.2 Standard.


Businesses transitioning from FSQ4 to FSQ4.1

Freshcare has provided FREE downloadable resources below to assist in the transition process to FSQ4.1.

FSQ4.1 Standard: Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Standard Edition 4.1 July 2019

Freshcare Rules: Freshcare Rules Version 4.3 – July 2019

Transition guide: FSQ4 to FSQ4.1 Transition 20190816

Factsheets: FSQ4.1 Factsheets

Updated Forms: FSQ4.1 Forms Compiled 24.7


Questions about FSQ4.1? Refer to the below FAQs for more information

FAQs - FSQ4.1

4. I have my own forms, can I continue to use them?

You can certainly continue to use your own forms, but you will need to review the new and revised criteria to ensure you capture any new information into your existing systems.

**Don’t forget to remove all old versions from use once you transition**

3. What forms have changed with the release of FSQ4.1?

Form – M1 Food Safety and Quality Policy

Form – M1 Position descriptions

Form – M2 Procedure-Work Instruction

Form – M3 Training record – internal FSQ

Form – M4 Internal audit report

Form – F7 Allergen management plan

Form – F8 Facilities audit checklist

Form – F10 Food safety instructions

Form – F12 Food defence vulnerability assessment and control plan

Form – F12 Food fraud vulnerability assessment and control plan

Form – F13 Harvest and packing record

Form – F14 Incident management plan

2. Changes to the Freshcare Rules impact my business, do I have to comply to these Rules immediately?

Compliance to the Freshcare Rules (v4.3 July 2019) must be achieved in line with your certification to FSQ4.1 from 1st January 2020. If you do not comply with the Rules at the time of this audit, a CAR may be raised.

1. Why have you changed the Standard?

The Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Standard (FSQ4) has been updated to FSQ4.1 to ensure Freshcare certification is compliant with the benchmarks set under GFSI. Freshcare has to achieve GFSI benchmark status to ensure ongoing market acceptance by retailers.  Without GFSI benchmarking, Freshcare would cease to be recognised and the Australian fresh produce industry would lose its most relevant, practical and cost-effective food safety certification option. Benchmarking to GFSI means Freshcare food safety systems are aligned with world’s best practice.

The updates found in FSQ4.1 relate to management records, policies and procedures and some additional requirements related to managing food safety risks, particularly related to worker health and hygiene.

The GFSI benchmark will also mean changes for our certification bodies in areas such as auditor competency, audit scheduling and management of corrective actions.

The Freshcare office has also been required to update our internal management systems and operating procedures to meet GFSI requirements.

6. How long will it take to transition to FSQ4.1?

A transition period of six months has been applied to align with retailer compliance deadlines.

From 1 July 2019 to 31 December 2019, Freshcare members will be able to choose to be audited to either FSQ4 or FSQ4.1, depending on their level of preparedness.

As the majority of changes to the Standard relate to the management aspects of compliance, a review and update to your system with the resources provided should be relatively straightforward and completed over a few hours.

7. Do I need to update my Freshcare training?

No. Training as per the requirements of FSQ4 will be recognised.

As of the 1st July 2019, training resources for new trainees will be updated to FSQ4.1

8. Will I need help implementing changes?

Resources, including training webinars, will be made freely available on the Freshcare website to assist businesses in the transition to FSQ4.1. Hard copy materials will also be provided.

If additional support is required, please contact the Freshcare office or Freshcare trainer network for assistance.

5. When do I need to be audited to the FSQ4.1 Standard?

From 1 January 2020 all grower and packer businesses will be audited to FSQ4.1

For further information on the GFSI benchmark process, including Questions & Answers (Q&A), visit:

You can also contact the Freshcare Team at [email protected] or phone: 1300 853 508 (+612 8039 9999).