Food Business Requirements

Overview

The Shire is regularly updating this information for food businesses to assist in the prevention and management of the current outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Environmental Health Team are currently conducting risk based actions to protect the community and support local, compliant, registered businesses.  New businesses must register with Council under the Food Act 1984 and there has been no change to the current process. Environmental Health Officers are available for advice prior to trading and can provide up to date Coronavirus business process information support through this time. To do so, please contact 5950 1050

Important Coronavirus Update - Easing of Dining Restrictions

The Victorian Government has announced that restaurants, cafes and other hospitality businesses are able to resume limited dine-in arrangements from 1 June 2020. On 26 May 2020 the Victorian Government released the Hospitality Industry Guidelines for Coronavirus (COVID-19) to assist cafes, restaurants and other food service premises to resume serving meals via table service for up to 20 patrons from 1 June.

The guidelines can be accessed at https://www.business.vic.gov.au/disputes-disasters-and-succession-planning/coronavirus-covid-19/hospitality-industry-guidelines-for-coronavirus-covid-19 and assist businesses to prepare to safely resume operations in accordance with the easing of restrictions. The guidelines include fact sheets, signage, posters and other resources to help cafes, restaurants and other food service premises to:

Further information and Frequently Asked Questions are available at:

https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/reopening-restaurants-and-cafes.  (RENAME LINK)

Coronavirus exclusion measures for staff and volunteers. 

If your business fully ceased trading during the previous Coronavirus dining restrictions, please contact the Shire’s Environmental Health Team to book an inspection prior to serving foods. The Team can be contacted by email food@mornpen.vic.gov.au or phone 59 501 050.

Important Coronavirus Update Regarding Outdoor Public Dining Furniture

Current advice from the State Government Department of Health and Human Services is that:

  • Outdoor dining areas on footpaths and any other public areas must not be used by any customers.This includes customers that are waiting to collect take away foods.
  • Portable tables and chairs on footpaths and other public dining and service areas must be removed.
  • For outdoor service areas with fixed tables and chairs please download this sign(PDF, 46KB) to place on or attach to fixed furniture.

We also ask that you please monitor these areas and provide information to customers as required. This applies as of 11.59pm on 30 March 2020 and is in place until further notice.

Food Safety Advice for Take Away and Delivered Meals

If your class 2 food business is currently registered, there is no further registration or administrative requirements needed to provide takeaway or home delivery services from your business. If you are not regsitered, please visit our section Registering a Food Business or contact the Shire’s Customer Service Team. 

You will need to ensure you have added appropriate content to your food safety program and continue to comply with all the requirements of the Australia New Zealand Food Safety Code sections 3.2.2 and 3.2.3, including requirements such as packaging used for takeaway, temperature control during delivery and allergen information.

Download a copy of the relevant standards:

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

Take Away and Delivered Meal Requirements

  • Ensure that any takeaway and delivered foods are prepared and stored in accordance with your Food Safety Program. High risk foods must be kept above 60⁰C or below 5⁰C prior to customer pick up or delivery. Cooking to order for customer pick up is recommended.
  • If cooked foods are cooled prior to take away or delivery, they must be cooled from 60⁰C to less than 5⁰C   within 6 hours. Temperature checks are recommended for your Food Safety Program
  • Consider the use of written allergen and temperature control information for customers, including safe storage and reheating instructions

Social Distancing

  • In an enclosed space there should be on average no more than one person per four square metres of floor space. This is a directive by the Victorian Chief Health Officer and Victorian Government.
  • Provide a clearly visible sign for customers and staff stating how many people are allowed in your premises.
  • Place tape or a physical barrier in front of the counter area to help keep the 1.5m distance between customers and staff.
  • Request that customers don’t congregate in the front servery area and that a 1.5m distance be kept between people at all times.
  • Place markers on the floor 1.5m apart where customers are required to stand whilst waiting for orders.
  • Implement a cashless payment system or handle money with gloves or wash hands immediately after handling money. Online payments prior to entering the premises is another good option to minimise interaction.
  • Provide hand sanitiser at the cash register to allow staff to use if required.

Home Deliveries

  • Maintain the food at a temperature that keeps it safe i.e. use eskies and ice for cold deliveries, or thermal insulated bags for hot foods
  • Minimise the time food is in transit. Consider delivering to local areas only
  • Protect the food from contamination. Cover all food with food grade materials and ensure the food is sealed in food grade storage containers.
  • Maintain records of food temperatures during delivery as part of your Food Safety Program 

Vehicles

  • Ensure vehicles used for transport, preparation or sale of food are cleaned regularly (this should be included in your cleaning schedule).
  • Minimise the sharing of cars wherever possible. This could be by allowing staff to use their own vehicle or assigning one staff member to do the home deliveries.
  • If the one car is to be used by multiple staff then implement procedures for cleaning the car surfaces between staff members.
  • Provide hand sanitiser in the car.
  • Implement a cashless payment system (over the internet or payment over the phone). Do not accept cash payments on delivery.
  • If the customer is someone who is quarantined or self-isolating then arrange to drop the meals at the door without any person to person contact (you may wish to implement this procedure for all customers).
  • Delivery drivers need to take extra precautions and ensure that when returning to the food business that they thoroughly wash hands with soap and water and dry with paper towel.
  • Consider the use of online delivery platform and services

Food Handler Hygiene

  • Clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser or wash them with soap and water and dry with paper towel.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
  • Minimise the risk of cross contamination by avoiding touching areas that have been in direct contact with the customer.
  • Management should provide training on food handler hygiene practices.
  • Maximise separation of your staff from each other and from customers.
  • Develop and follow written cleaning and sanitizing guidelines. Standard information can be accessed here Food Premises Cleaning and Sanitising Guidelines.pdf(PDF, 40KB)

These food safety requirements also apply to any foods that businesses are donating to those in need. The Environmental Health Team is happy to provide advice to and assist food businesses that are delivering foods to customers and to those in need.

Food safety and Coronavirus guidelines for take food and delivered meals can be downloaded here: Guidelines for the Management of Coronavirus by Food Businesses April 2020.pdf(PDF, 364KB)

If you have recently started food deliveries, please contact the Environmental Health Team so that we can work together on the safe delivery of foods on the Peninsula

Guidelines for Supermarkets and Service Stations

The attached guidelines developed by Environmental Health Professionals Australia provide information for supermarkets and service stations on extra precautions to reduce the spread of the virus by ensuring adequate physical distancing and hygiene measures are in place.

Registration of Food Businesses

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.

Download a copy of the relevant standards:

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

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

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.