Food Safety for Business

The Shire's Environmental Health team is responsible for the registration of all food businesses within the Shire. The following information should be read in conjunction with the Food Standards Australia New Zealand National Food Safety Standards.

For a copy of the relevant standards:

Download: Standard 3.2.2 - Food Safety Practices and general requirements(PDF, 153KB)  and 
Download: Standard 3.2.3 - Food premises and equipment(PDF, 115KB)

If you are interested in setting up a new food business please contact the Shire’s Customer Service Team and ask for a copy of Best Bites Food Guide folder which has all of the information that you need to set up a food business or visit our section Best Bites

Food business requirements

Every business that prepares and/or sells foods to the public must register/notify their business with the Shire under the Food Act. The Food Act classifies food businesses into four risk classes:

  • Class 1 for premises serving potentially hazardous foods to customers at higher risk e.g nursing homes, hospitals and child care centres
  • Class 2 for premises engaged in manufacture or handling of any unpackaged, potentially hazardous foods, such as food that requires temperature control
  • Class 3 for premises handling low risk food or wholesale of pre-packaged food, or selling pre-packaged, potentially hazardous food
  • Class 4 for premises selling only shelf-stable, pre-packaged food.

Potentially hazardous foods are foods which need correct temperature control during the food handling process (including cooking and storage) to keep them safe. This includes raw and cooked meat, small goods, dairy products, seafood, processed fruits and vegetables, cooked rice and pasta, eggs, sandwiches, rolls and pizza.

If you are unsure of the classification of your business please refer to the Department of Health Food Business Classification Tool.

Food safety requirements for each class of business

Class

Council Registration

Annual 3rd Party Audit*

Food Safety Program

Food Safety Supervisor

1

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

2

Yes

No*

Yes

Yes

3

Yes

No*

Food Safety Guide

No (optional online training)

4

No

No

No

No

*The Food Act requires that Class 1 premises and those using an independent (non-template) Food Safety Program must arrange a 3rd party audit each year.

Fact files

Download: Domestic kitchen fact-file.doc(DOC, 66KB)

Download: Registration of food premises.pdf(PDF, 53KB) 

Food Allergens

Some people are allergic to particular foods or ingredients in foods. If they eat or have contact with these foods, they may have an allergic reaction, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe to life-threatening. All food businesses should be aware of food allergens in order to protect their customers and avoid legal consequences.

Standard 1.2.3 of the Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code makes it a legal requirement to clearly declare allergen ingredients on packaged foods. It is recommended that allergen ingredients are bolded and/or highlighted to ensure that they are clearly visible.

For unpackaged foods, the law requires that accurate food allergen information be provided to the customer upon request. Care must be given to ensuring menus and other advertising materials are true and correct.

One way to enable this information to be accurately provided is to develop and maintain an allergen matrix for all menu items or food produced by the food business. An allergen matrix clearly lists common allergens in foods prepared at the food business in a simple table that makes it easy for staff to read and convey to the customer.

A sample matrix is available here Allergen Matrix Guide.docx(DOCX, 24KB)

It is difficult for a food business to completely eliminate all food allergens from their food business. To reduce your risk and provide the most accurate ingredient and allergen information, each food business should consider the recommendations in the Shire's Food Allergen Fact File

Download: Food Allergen Fact File.pdf(PDF, 744KB)

Food Allergy Week 2019

Food Allergy Week 26 May - 1 June 2019

Mornington Peninsula Shire and Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) are calling on the peninsula community to help raise awareness and take action during Food Allergy Week (26 May – 1 June 2019).

According to A&AA, Australia has one of the highest reported incidences of food allergies in the world with one in 10 babies born developing a food allergy.

Food Allergy Week is an important annual initiative of A&AA that aims to raise awareness, reduce the risk of a reaction for those living with a food allergy and help manage potentially life-threatening emergencies when they happen. To get involved in Food Allergy Week this year visit the Food Allergy Week website.

To assist Peninsula food businesses to become allergen aware, the Shire is offering free, half-day training sessions in allergen awareness on Friday 31st May at the Mornington Peninsula Shire Mornington Office, 2 Queen St (corner Main St), Mornington from 1.45pm to 5.30pm.

All Peninsula food business owners and community groups are welcome, enrol via EventBrite.

For further information, please visit the Food Allergy Aware website or contact the Shire’s Environmental Health Team at food@mornpen.vic.gov.au for free food allergy resources.

Gluten Free Foods

The Shire’s Environmental Health Team has recently noted an increase in the number of food retailers advertising “gluten free” foods, either on menus or as packaged foods labelled as “gluten free”.

The presence of gluten in retail food products is regulated under the Food Act 1984 (Vic) (“the Act”) and the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (“the Standards”). Standard 1.2.3 requires that food businesses include on labels of pre-packaged food a declaration if gluten is present. No safe or “trace” level of gluten is listed in the Standards.

Further, the Act requires that food businesses inform customers on request if any gluten is present in food.  Food businesses must also ensure their menus, displays and other advertising materials are true and correct.

The presence of gluten in food can cause reactions in those with an intolerance to gluten, and can cause severe reactions in those with coeliac disease.

If gluten is not declared to a customer (on a label or on request) it would be a breach of the Act and Standards.  Food businesses that offer “gluten free” food items must ensure that no gluten is present in these items.

Further Information:

Food Standards Australia New Zealand 

Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia 

Coeliac Australia 

Food Safety Programs

All registered Class 1 and 2 food businesses must follow a food safety program. We're pleased to offer a food safety program template developed by the Department of Health and Human Services to assist you in developing your own program.

This template can also be completed electronically and emailed to us using the Foodsmart Program by visiting the Foodsmart Website

Class 3 food premises need to keep completed basic records about certain food safety practices onsite. This includes details about suppliers, and about potentially hazardous food. These records are included in the Food Safety Guide for Class 3 Food Businesses released by the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services.

Download: Class 3 Food Safety Guide

Food safety supervisor requirements and training

All registered Class 1 and 2 food businesses must have a qualified Food Safety Supervisor. The training requirements for the Supervisor have been developed by the Department of Health and Human Services and can be found on the Health Victoria website.

The training must be completed by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO’s). For a list of RTO’s offering food safety training please refer to the NTIS website www.training.gov.au

The Department of Health also has an on-line food safety training program for Class 3 premises called ‘Do Food Safely” that is available on the Health Victoria website

If the Food Safety Supervisor for your business changes you must submit the training qualifications for the new supervisor to the Shire’s Environmental Health Team. Without a suitably qualified Food Safety Supervisor the registration for a food business cannot be granted, renewed or transferred.

Food safety management policy

To manage food safety at food businesses, we adopted the Food Safety Management Policy in 2013. The policy aims to ensure that food sold within the Shire is safe. The policy introduced a ‘risk management’ approach to food safety assessment and the Shire’s Best Bites Food Guide program.

Under this policy, Shire inspections of food premises assess whether each business is managing its food safety risks, and focus on the 10 Golden Rules of Food Safety:

  1. The food safety supervisor must have suitable food safety training and knowledge of the business.
  2. All foods must be purchased from approved suppliers who have registration with a local council or Primesafe.  
  3. High-risk foods must be delivered to your business below 5°C or fully frozen and be fully labelled.
  4. High-risk foods must be stored below 5°C, or below -15°C if frozen .
  5. A potable, safe water supply must be available.
  6. High-risk foods that are cooked must be cooked to at least 75°C.
  7. Cooked high-risk foods that are cooled for service or re-heating must be cooled to below 5°C within 6 hours.
  8. High-risk foods displayed for sale or delivered to customers must be kept above 60°C or below 5°C.
  9. All foods must be covered and protected during storage, display and delivery.
  10. Premises must be kept in a clean condition and a written cleaning/sanitising schedule must be in place.

By ensuring that food businesses are managing their risks properly, consumers will be better protected from unsafe food. It is important to remember that following these food safety rules will reduce the risk of food poisoning both in food premises and at home.

Download: Food Safety Management Policy.pdf(PDF, 919KB)  

Registering new food premises

Before you apply for Food Act Registration you should:

  1. Contact Business Victoria www.business.vic.gov.au or our Economic Development team for advice on setting up a new business.
  2. Obtain a Best Bites Food Guide application kit  from us, which has information on setting up a new food premises. These kits are available at our Customer Service Centres.
  3. Check with the Shire's Planning Services and Local Laws Units for any permits or restrictions that may apply to the property.   
  4. Contact South East Water on phone 131 694 to discuss sewerage and grease trap requirements. If sewer is not available you should contact an Environmental Health Officer to discuss septic tank requirements.
  5. Contact one of our Environmental Health Officers to discuss the proposal. The National Food Safety Standards and other relevant information is available from the Environmental Health team on phone 5950 1050.   
  6. Submit scaled plans of the proposed premises and arrange for an assessment by anEnvironmental Health Officer. It is recommended that you do not begin work on your premises until your plans are approved to prevent costly mistakes.  
  7. Determine the classification of your business using the Department of Health Food Business Classification Tool which is available at http://dofoodsafely.health.vic.gov.au/
  8. Submit an application for Food Act Registration or Notification Form to the Shire (see 'applying for registration').   

Your application for food business registration can also be submitted online via a Step by Step Guide developed by Business Victoria http://www.business.vic.gov.au/

Further information and/or advice can also be obtained by contacting our Environmental Health team on phone: 5950 1050.

Purchasing an existing food business

  • Under the Food Act an inspection of any food premises by Council is required before the registration can be transferred to the new proprietor. It is recommended that you arrange an inspection of the business prior to purchase.
  • To arrange an inspection of the business by Shire please complete and return the Pre-Purchase Inspection Form to our Environmental Health Team. Make sure that the current proprietor signs this form to release a copy of the inspection report to you.
  • To apply to transfer the food business registration please refer to Applying for Registration below.

Applying for registration

Complete and submit an application for registration to our Environmental Health team along with the appropriate registration fee. The information below is also required with the registration application depending on the class of business.

Class 1 premises must submit:

  • A copy of their independent food safety program
  • Details of the training and qualifications of their Food Safety Supervisor
  • A copy of the most recent audit of the premises by a 3rd party Food Safety Auditor. If it is a new premises, an audit must be arranged within 60 days of the premises opening.

Class 2 premises must submit:

  • Details of their Food Safety Program. This can be either :

1. A template Food Safety Program that is approved by the Department of Health and Human Services. A list of templates is available at http://www.health.vic.gov.au/foodsafety/bus/templates.htm OR

2. An independent Food Safety Program that is developed for the business. A full copy of this program must be submitted for approval OR

3. An approved QA system that is developed under a declared business Quality Assurance system. If an independent or QA Food Safety Program is used, an audit of the premises is required by a 3rd party Food Safety Auditor within 60 days of the premises opening

  • Details of the training and qualifications of their Food Safety Supervisor.

All Class 1, 2 and 3 premises must obtain Environmental Health Officer approval to open. This will include an inspection of the premises by us prior to trading. A Food Act Certificate of Registration will then be issued.

Class 4 premises do not require inspection by us, nor is a fee required. However, you must notify us if:

  • the ownership of the business transfers
  • the location of the business changes
  • the use of the business changes.

Best Bites Food Guide

We have introduced it’s Best Bites Food Guide program which recognises food businesses who receive a score of over 95 per cent in their food safety assessment. These businesses can then be assessed and recognised in areas such as nutrition, waste and recycling, energy and water efficiency, tobacco and alcohol, and access for all. Visit our section on Best Bites for further information.

Food for thought newsletter

Read the latest editions of the Shire's Food for thought newsletter.