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 indirectly as part of another service, e.g. 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.
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.
|Class||Type of Premises||Food Safety Program||Food Safety Supervisor|
|Class 1||Hospitals, child care centres and aged care centres which serve potentially hazardous foods||Yes||Yes|
|Class 2||Supermarkets, Take Away, Restaurants, Cafes, etc||Yes||Yes|
|Class 3||Premises that handle unpackaged low risk food or high risk pre-packed food||No, but minimum|
|Class 4||Shelf stable pre-packaged items, whole uncut fruit and/or vegetables||No||No|
Opening or Purchasing a food premises
Discuss your plans with us: If you are thinking of starting a new food business or purchasing an existing business, we strongly recommend that you organise a meeting to discuss your plans. At this meeting, we can give you information about:
- food safety requirements
- permits and inspections
- standards and codes.
To organise a meeting, call 5398 0100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book an onsite Inspection: Before you purchase or lease a food premises, we recommend that you organise an onsite inspection by one of our environmental health officers.
A Council officer will visit your proposed premises to recommend any improvements or modifications needed to meet the relevant standards and codes.
To organise an inspection, call 5398 0100 or email@example.com.
Applying to start your food business
To register your food business with the Yarriambiack Shire you must submit the following information to Council:
- Complete the appropriate Food Premises Registration Form.
- Payment of relevant Registration fee. Please contact Council for the relevant fee for your Food Premises.
- Provide an electronic copy of the current or proposed 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 final floor plan detailing the food preparation areas, food storage areas, cooking equipment (stove and mechanical exhaust system), toilet facilities, cleaning facilities, wash hand facilities and specify foods to be processed and stored on the premises.
Registering your domestic home kitchen
The Food Act 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 further information or to make an application for registration, please contact Council on 5398 0100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Temporary and mobile food premises – Streatrader registration
Streatrader is a website developed by the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services 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 Streatrader account. Those with registered domestic home kitchen that are wishing to sell the food at markets or events will still require a Streatrader Registration to record these activities.
Use Streatrader 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 Streatrader 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 Streatrader 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.
Community group food fundraisers – food safety obligations
If you are a community group or not-for-profit body wanting to sell food in Victoria:
- Watch the video at the Department of Health & Human Services community group assistance page to help understand 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.