Food premises registrations
Under the Food Act 1984, businesses operating in Victoria that sell food to the public must register with their local council. These include:
- businesses operating a fixed food premises, (including accommodation premises serving food)
- If you are operating from home, storing or preparing food in your domestic home kitchen for sale
- Temporary or mobile food businesses
- A community group or not for profit body wishing to sell food.
The registration period for all food premises is 1 January to 31 December annually. We notify you toward the end of each year that your food premises registration is due for renewal. All fees must be paid by 31 December or trade cannot continue.
If you are only selling low risk pre-packaged food you are required to complete and submit a Notification of food premises.(PDF, 88KB)
It’s our Environmental Health Team’s role to make sure that food premises within the Shire are selling safe food to the public. We do this by:
- Registering all premises selling food to the public in accordance with the requirements of the Food Act 1984.
- Conducting regular inspections of food premises to ensure they comply with the current Food Safety Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)
- Educating proprietors and the public on how to prevent the consumption of contaminated food and drink, investigate any food safety concerns from the public.
Opening or purchasing a food premises
If you are opening a new food premises, purchasing an existing food premises, or you plan to serve food as part of your accommodation premises, you are required to comply with Food Standards Code and will need to submit an Application to Register a Food Premises with Council under the Food Act 1984. Most food businesses must also nominate a qualified food safety supervisor(PDF, 273KB) to ensure their staff members have the skills and knowledge required to safely handle food.
If you are setting up a new premise or altering an existing one, you can submit plans to our Environmental Health Unit and one of our officers can review them and provide advice prior to Registration. These can be submitted at any time for existing premises or with the Application to Register a Food Premises if it’s a new registration.
Food Premises Information and Applications:
Registering your domestic home kitchen
The Food Act 1984 requires anyone who prepares food in a home kitchen for sale to the public to be registered with Council. This includes:
The storing and preparing of food at home for sale at temporary food stalls such as markets or events
Preparing food at home for sale directly to the public, meal sharing, or to be sold by other food premises.
The food safety laws require that the layout of domestic home kitchens minimise the risk of food contamination. Some things you'll need to think about:
- The layout of your private dwelling should minimise opportunities for food contamination
- You must ensure fixtures, fittings, equipment and transport vehicles are able to be cleaned properly
- Your private dwelling should have appropriate access to water, waste disposal, light, ventilation, cleaning and personal hygiene facilities, storage space and toilets.
For more information download Food preparation in private dwellings(PDF, 36KB)
Do you need a planning permit?
Check out the Home based businesses provision under the planning scheme or talk to Council's Planning Department on (03)5261 0600 to see if you need a planning permit.
Temporary and mobile food premises – Foodtrader registration
Foodtrader is a website developed by the Victorian Department of Health as a resource to facilitate the online registration of temporary and mobile food activities for businesses and community groups across Victoria.
Operators of food vans, food stall, vending machine or drinking water carting business only need to register (or notify) the one ‘principal’ Council, which is usually the Council that your kitchen is or equipment is stored. You are then able to log all your activities across any council in the State via your single Foodtrader account. Those with registered domestic home kitchen that are wishing to sell the food at markets or events will still require a Foodtrader Registration to record these activities.
Use Foodtrader to:
register or notify council
pay for and renew your registration
lodge your statement of trade
To begin your business or community group’s application for registration, all you need to do is visit the Foodtrader website, create an account and log on. Once you have logged on you will have access to the online application form which will then be lodged to your local council for review.
An officer will contact you to discuss your application and may arrange for an inspection prior registration.
Once we have approved your registration, you can trade anywhere in Victoria. Each time before you trade you simply log in to your Foodtrader account and complete a Statement of Trade (SOT), which will ask when and where you will be trading from your temporary or mobile food premises. Your SOT will then go to the relevant council to notify them of your activities in the area. Note: Statement of Trade is required for all sale of food to the public. You don't need to lodge a Statement of Trade if you are catering at an event that is not open to the public, such as a wedding or work function.
Do Food Safely
DoFoodSafely is a free, non-accredited, online learning program designed to enable you to understand how to safely work with, and handle, food in commercial settings.
At the completion of the program and assessment, users will get a DoFoodSafely Certificate of Completion. It is recommended that employers provide this training to all food handling staff prior to commencing work in the food premises.
This will ensure staff have an understanding of the food safety requirements necessary in a food premises, and their obligations as a food handler to provide safe and suitable food.
Community group food fundraisers – food safety obligations
If you are a community group or not-for-profit body wanting to sell food in Victoria:
Find information on FoodTrader to assist in understanding what you need to do.
Use the simple tool to identify the classification for your event
Understand and act on the obligations that relate to your class of event.
Businesses serving food in BYO containers
Do you have customers asking to use their own cups and containers when they purchase takeaway food or drinks from your business?
There are no regulations that prohibit this.
- Victoria’s food safety regulations do not prohibit a food business from serving food or drink in a container provided by a customer.
- If choosing to accept customer’s containers, it is reasonable for a business to assess the cleanliness and condition of the container before putting food in it. You may consider the quality of the container and the likelihood of it tainting or compromising the chemical/ bacterial quality of the food you are supplying.
- If a registered food premises chooses not accept customers’ containers it is a business decision, not a requirement of legislation.
How to let customers know your business accepts BYO cups and containers:
If you want to do more than word of mouth or information at your shop, you can choose to register your business on a website such as Trashless Takeaway or Responsible Cafes.
How to move away from disposable coffee cups:
Green Caffeen, HuskeeCup and One Good Cup provide ‘swap and go’ reusable cup systems that are currently being used by cafes in Surf Coast Shire. You might like to contact them to find out more.
If you still have questions, contact our Environmental Health Officers on 5261 0600 or email@example.com.
Useful food handling fact sheets and information
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