Good food safety is the foundation of any food business. Local businesses that serve food to the public are regulated by AlburyCity and the NSW Food Authority.
A food handling business includes any business that sells or handles food in any form in a fixed mobile, permanent or temporary facility. Some food businesses such as butchers, seafood outlets (that prepare seafood) or kitchens which supply food to vulnerable populations (such as hospital patients and aged care residents) are required to be licensed by the NSW Food Authority. If you think your business might fall into one of these categories, first contact the NSW Food Authority on 1300 552 406.
For all other retail food businesses, which sell or handle food for sale, the following requirements must be complied with:
Ensure your business can operate legally in the proposed location and at the proposed times
Complete the development application process or contact a member of our building and planning team to find out more.
Ensure trade wastewater requirements are met
Trade wastewater is any liquid waste and any substance contained within it discharged to the sewerage system from a business premise other than normal domestic sewage.
Only trade wastewater which complies with specific guidelines may be discharged into the sewerage system.
Register your food business
You’ll need to submit one of the following:
Arrange an inspection
We work with food businesses to improve hygiene standards through inspections and seminars. We also advise and approve new businesses, check for contamination, follow up on complaints and make sure businesses comply with the food safety laws and standards.
Food safety inspections
Our environmental health officers regularly inspect food businesses and advise them about hygiene practices. These inspections may include microbial analysis of food-contact surfaces and other possible sources of cross-contamination.
Comply with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code at all times
The Code is a collection of food standards set out in four chapters (see below) developed jointly by the governments of Australia, Australian states and territories, and New Zealand.
These food standards are designed to:
- ensure that food is safe and suitable for human consumption;
- prevent misleading conduct associated with the sale of food;
- provide adequate information to enable consumers to make an informed choice; and
- provide an effective regulatory framework within which the food industry can work efficiently.
The Code applies to any business or activity that involves the handling of food for sale, or the sale of food in Australia. In Victoria, the Code is enforced mainly by local councils, which register food businesses operating within their municipality. The Department of Health and Human Services also has enforcement powers under the Food Act 1984.
It is a criminal offence under the Food Act to handle or sell food that does not comply with any requirement set out in the Code. The Food Act also includes offences involving the handling or sale of unsafe or unsuitable food, and false descriptions of food.
Food Safety Supervisor
Businesses selling food that is “ready to eat” and is potentially hazardous (requires temperature control to remain safe) and is not sold and served in its original manufacturer’s package must employ a suitably qualified NSW Food Safety Supervisor (FSS) and keep a copy of their certificate easily available on site.
The importance of a Food Safety Supervisor
The role of a Food Safety Supervisor (FSS) is to prevent individuals from becoming ill from food poisoning as a result of incorrect handling and preparation of food.
Statistics show that incorrect food handling practices in retail food businesses account for more than one-third of foodborne illness outbreaks in NSW, costing the community hundreds of millions of dollars each year in healthcare and lost revenue.
Appointing an FSS gives food businesses a better level of onsite protection for food safety and gives consumers peace-of-mind when dining out or buying food in NSW.
The FSS requirement applies to retail businesses who process and sell food (prepare and serve) that is:
- Potentially hazardous (i.e. needs temperature control)
- NOT sold and served in the supplier's original package.
Examples of businesses* include restaurants, cafés, takeaway shops, caterers, bakeries, pubs, clubs, hotels and supermarket hot food sales.
*Note: This is not a comprehensive list. Other businesses that serve food that meet the above criteria and provide accommodation, service or entertainment where there is an inclusive charge which covers the food supplied, would also fall under the FSS legislation. For example, B&Bs, motels, hotels and entertainment venues.
For detailed information please visit the NSW Food Authority.
Notify us of any changes
If your business closes, stops trading, moves, opens another business, sells to a new owner or changes its trading name please contact:
Environmental Health Officer
Phone: 02 6023 8111
Offences (name & shame) registers
The NSW Food Authority publishes lists of businesses that have breached or are alleged to have breached NSW food safety laws. Publishing the lists gives consumers more information to make decisions about where they eat or buy food.
Food safety training
I'M ALERT Food Safety* is an online food safety training program that we subscribe to and deliver FREE.
The training, managed by Environmental Health Australia, can be accessed online, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and includes:
- Sections reflecting the basic food safety principles as outlined in the Food Safety Standards (Eg. Temperature Control, Food Receipt, Food Storage, Hygiene of Food Handlers etc.)
- Ability to only select the sections that are relevant to your role
- Interactive tasks and quizzes
- Printable training acknowledgement form (assists a food business operator and staff to demonstrate skills and knowledge requirements)
- Printable certificate (can be displayed within a food business)
- "Remind me" option (prompts a user to conduct the training again after a nominated time period)
- "Notify" option (enables a user to notify others of their completion of the training program)
*Please note that the training provides some basic skills and knowledge to food handlers but it is not an alternative to, nor provides any official credits towards, the NSW Food Safety Supervisor (FSS) certificates required by most food businesses.