Food Business Requirements

Overview

Food safety is important to lower the incidence of foodborne illness by strengthening food safety and traceability throughout the food supply chain, from paddock to plate. 

In Victoria it is illegal to sell food from an unregistered premises. Food premises and vehicles must comply with the Food Act 1984 and Food Safety Australia New Zealand Food Safety Standards. Download a copy of the relevant standards:

The Shire's Environmental Health team is responsible for the registration of all food businesses within the Shire and ensuring businesses and organisations alike adhere to the food business requirements.

Food businesses and organisations are classified into risk categories, that determine their requirements. Learn more in our Food Business Risk Categories section. All registered Class 1 and 2 food businesses must follow a food safety program.

To manage food safety at food businesses and community groups, the Shire has a Food Safety Management Policy. The policy aims to ensure that food sold within the Shire is safe.

If you're having trouble finding what you need here you can contact our Environmental Health Team on 5950 1050 or contact the team online.

Registering a new food business

Before You Register

Before you apply for a Food Act Registration you should:

  1. Contact Business Victoria or get some advice on starting a new business from our Economic Development team.
  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 teams for any permits or restrictions that may apply to property.
  4. Contact South East Water to discuss sewerage and grease trap requirements. If sewer is not available you should contact an Environmental Health Officer from the Shire 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 by calling 5950 1050 during operating hours.
  6. Submit scaled plans of the proposed premises and arrange for an assessment by an Environmental 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. More information about food business classification and food business requirements can be found on our Food Business Requirements page.
  8. Submit an application for Food Act Registration or Notification Form to the Shire. Information and details on submitting your application can be found on our Register a New Food Business page.

Further information and/or advice can also be obtained by contacting our Environmental Health Team on 5950 1050 or contact the team online.

Applying for Registration

Complete and submit an application for registration to our Environmental Health team along with the appropriate registration fee. A copy of the application form and details on the process for applying for registration can be found on our Register a New Food Business page. The information below is also required with the registration application depending on the class of business.

Class 1 Premises must submit:

  1. A copy of their independent food safety program.
  2. Details of the training and qualifications of their Food Safety Supervisor.
  3. A copy of the most recent audit of the premises by a third 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:

  1. Details of their Food Safety Program. This can be one of the following:
    • A template Food Safety Program that is approved by the Department of Health and Human Services. A list of templates is available at the Health Victoria website.
    • An independent Food Safety Program that is developed for the business. A full copy of this program must be submitted for approval.*
    •  An approved Quality Assurance (QA) system that is developed under a declared business QA system.*

    *If an independent or QA Food Safety Program is used an audit of the premises is required by a third party Food Safety Auditor within 60 days of the premises opening. 

  2. Details of the training and qualifications of the Food Safety Supervisor.

All Class 1, 2 and 3 Premises

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

Class 4 Premises

Class 4 Premises do not require inspection by an Environmental Health Officer, nor is a fee required. However, you must notify Council if:

  1. The ownership of the business transfers.
  2. The location of the business changes.
  3. The use of the business changes.

Buying a 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 our Transfer or Purchase an Existing Food Business page.

What if I want to serve alcohol?

If you are planning to serve alcoholic beverages to your customers you should discuss this with Victorian Commission for Liquor and Gambling Regulation. You will also need to ensure that the appropriate planning approvals or consent from the Shire is obtained and that the Victoria Police are satisfied with your proposal. You cannot sell or serve alcohol without their prior consent.

Food at markets or events

If your food premises plans to prepare food for sale at markets or events you must register your business on the Streatrader website. Once you are registered with Streatrader you are required to lodge a Statement of Trade for each event or market where your business will be selling food.

Food Business Risk Categories

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

  • 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.

Food Safety Programs and Food Safety Guide

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.

 

Food Safety Supervisor Requirements

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). For a list of RTOs offering food safety training please refer to the NTIS website.

The Department of Health also has an online 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.