A food business is an enterprise of activity involving the storage, preparation and/or sale of food. Under the Food Act the sale of food also includes those businesses that do not charge a fee indirectly for the food, but include a fee incirectly as part of another service, eg a Bed & Breakfast.
Council works closely with food proprietors towards ensuring that all food being sold, manufactured or stored is safe for human consumption and to reduce the incidence of foodborne diseases. Council undertakes the following functions in relation to food safety:
- The Registration of businesses under the Food Act 1984 (any business or person who prepares, sells, manufactures or packages food for public consumption). This includes temporary and mobile food premises such as those at markets, fairs and festivals.
- Regular inspections of food businesses to ensure compliance with food safety legislation, standards and codes.
- Investigation of food related complaints.
- Advising food businesses of relevant food recall details.
- Investigations of food adulteration and food-borne illness.
- Assisting new and existing businesses to ensure compliance with food legislation and standards and codes.
- Undertaking food sampling to determine the presence of harmful bacteria, foreign objects or incorrect labelling.
In Victoria, you cannot operate a food business unless the business is registered with the relevant local Council. A food premises must be registered with the Council before food is stored, handled, prepared or sold from that premises. Failure to register your premises is a contravention of the Food Act.
To operate a food business in Corangamite Shire the first step is to submit an Application for Registration of a Food Premises (see links below)
Please also read the Regulated Business Application Notes.
Applications are held to account by regulations in the Food Act 1984, to ensure the safe sale of food to the public.
There are numerous factors that come into consideration when granting a license to sell food, some of which include the type of food being sold, the premises used, the facilities available and access to utilities.
Follow the links below which have further information about establishing a food business and where your food business would fit in the classification system, as well what you need to do to set up a temporary food operation.
Alternatively, get in touch with the Council’s Environmental Health Officer on (03) 5593 7100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Food business classifications
There are four classes of food premises – Class 1, Class 2, Class 3 and Class 4. This classification system ensures that the regulatory requirements are matched appropriately to the level of food safety risk associated undertaken at the respective premises.
||Type of premises
||Hospitals, child care centres and aged care centres which serve potentially hazardous foods
||Supermarkets, Take Away, Restaurants, Cafes, etc
||Premises that handle unpackaged low risk food or high risk pre-packed food
||No, but minimum
||Shelf stable pre-packaged items, whole uncut fruit and/or vegetables
For registration and structural requirements for food premises, please see Council’s Food Premises Information Pack(PDF, 5MB).
To register your food business with the Corangamite Shire you must submit the following information to Council:
- Complete the appropriate Food Premises Registration Form (see links below).
- Payment of relevant Registration fee. Please contact Council for the relevant fee for your Food Premises.
- Provide a copy of the current Food Safety Program for your business (Class 1 and Class 2 premises only).
- Provide a copy of the nominated Food Safety Supervisor's certificate (Class 1 and Class 2 Premises only).
- Submit a floor plan detailing the food preparation areas, food storage areas, cooking equipment (stove and mechanical exhaust system), toilet facilities, cleaning facilities, wash hand facilities andspecify foods to be processed and stored on the premises.
All food premises are required to comply with the Food Standards Code. Council has developed a New Food Premises Information Pack(PDF, 5MB) to assist you with the necessary information to ensure that your food premises satisfies the legal rerquirements associated with running a food business.
All Class 1 and Class 2 food businesses are required to have a Food Safety Program to assist them in the operational procedures associated with food safety. Class 3 and Class 4 premises do not require a Food Safety Plan; however, Class 3 establishments must meet the minimum recording requirements (please contact Council for further information).
A Food Safety Program is a written document that:
- Systematically identifies the potential hazards that may reasonably be expected to occur in each food handling operation that is to be conducted at the food premises.
- Identifies where in a food handling operation each hazard identified can be controlled and the means of control.
- Provides for the systematic monitoring of those controls.
- Provides for appropriate corrective action when that hazard or each of those hazards has the potential to contaminate the food or food environment.
- Provides for the regular review of the Plan by the proprietor of the food premises.
- Provides for appropriate records to be made and kept by the proprietor of the food premises demonstrating action taken in relation to or in compliance with the Plan.
You can download a free copy of the FoodSmart template on the FoodSmart website. This template requires you to complete an on-line questionnaire that makes writing your Food Safety Plan quick and easy.
Alternatively, you can print a copy of the Department of Health and Human Services Food safety program template for food service and retail businesses.
Food Handler Responsibilities
A food handler is anyone who is involved in the activity that involves food. A food handler may do many different things for a food business, including making, cooking, preparing, serving, packing, displaying and storing food. Food Handlers can also be involved in manufacturing, producing, collecting, extracting, processing, transporting, delivering, thawing or preserving food.
Food handlers have a responsibility to ensure that they handle and serve food safely. Food handlers also have specific responsibilities related to their health and hygiene.
The Department of Health and Human Services Personal Hygiene for People Working with Food brochure explains the requirements of food handlers.
Training for Food Handlers
Proprietors of a food business must ensure that all staff undertaking or supervising food handling operations have the skills and knowledge in food safety and food hygiene for the work they do. The skills and knowledge can be gained through various means of training:
- On the job training / On-site supervision
- Formal training courses
- In-house training, hiring a consultant
- Distributing food safety information to employees
- Putting procedures in place that clarify responsibilities of food handlers
- Formal Food Hygiene Training courses can either be undertaken locally or online.
"Do Food Safely" Free Online Food Safety Courses
An on-line food training program has been developed by the Department of Health to ensure that food handlers have the skills and knowledge of responsible food handling.
The course includes six topics on food safety and a final quiz. It takes approximately 1 hour to complete and participants who score more than 90 percent on the quiz will receive a certificate of completion.
Participants who complete the whole course will be able to:
- define food handlers and their responsibilities with regard to the law
- describe the ways in which food can become contaminated and potentially unsafe
- describe the common causes as well as symptoms of food poisoning
- explain the do's and don'ts of maintaining good personal hygiene
- handle food correctly at all stages of prearation
- explain the do's and don'ts for accepting food deliveries, storing, displaying and transporting food
- explain the do's and don't for cleaning the food preparation surfaces and equipment
Class 1 and Class 2 establishments must have a qualified Food Safety Supervisor within their business. Class 3 and Class 4 food businesses do not require a Food Safety Supervisor.
A Food Safety Supervisor is a person within your food establishment who:
- Knows how to recognise, prevent and alleviate the hazards associated with the handling of food at, or from, that premises; and
- Has met an appropriate food safety competency standard for the premises of the same nature as the premises; and
- Has the ability and the authority to supervise other people handling food at, or from, the premises and ensure that the handling is done safely.
Food Safety Supervisor training programs can either be undertaken locally or on-line.
The preparation of food for sale to the public in domestic kitchens may be permitted; however, preparing food for sale differs from cooking for the family.
A food business is an enterprise or activity involving the storage, preparation and/or sale of food. This may include a food business making jams and preserves, biscuits and cakes, repackaging lollies, or selling fresh produce or eggs.
There are a number of things that you need to do before you can begin operating a food premises. For example, you need to be registered with Council to operate a food business from home. Please read the information relating to Food Premises Registration on this section for information and requirements on food registration with the Council.
Home kitchens must also ensure that they abide by the correct labelling laws as there have been comprehensive changes to the Australian and New Zealand Food Standards Code to ensure customers can make informed choices when purchasing food. The Labelling Guidelines information pack(PDF, 2MB) highlights a number of relevant labelling requirements for good retail sale or for catering purposes.
Temporary and mobile food operators, including community groups
Anybody wanting to operate a mobile food van or temporary food premises must be registered with Streatrader (link to website).
Streatrader is a website that allows statewide registration and notification of temporary/Mobile Food premises, private Drinking Water Carters and Food Vending Machines. The statewide registration applies to all businesses, community groups and not-for-profit organisations.
How to register
Go to Streatrader website at least two (2) weeks prior to conducting an event. You will need to create your login (unless you already have one, in which case you just simply fill in your username and password). Once your login details are complete, you will automatically enter the Streatrader website. Streatrader will guide you through the process until you're ready to hit the lodge button.
Statements of Trade
Once you have received your statewide registration certificate, you must inform all relevant Councils about your trading intentions. You must lodge a Food Act Statement of Trade (SOT) at least 5 days before trading,
This is completed by logging into your Streatrader account and clicking on 'Lodge Statement Of Trade'. Once you have entered the applicable information, Streatrader will notify the relevant Council of your intended trading dates.
For more information please contact Council’s Environmental Health Unit on 03 5593 7100 or email email@example.com.
Please note: you will need to comply with any roadside trading or planning laws in the Council you plan to trade.
For temporary events or food premises where tables and chairs are to be setup on the footpaths a permit from Councils Local Law Office is required. Please refer to the Local Laws webpage for further information.