Food businesses

In Victoria, food premises and vehicles must comply with the Food Act 1984 and the Food Standards Australia New Zealand. It is illegal to sell food from an unregistered premises.

The Shire's Environmental Health team is responsible for the registration of all food businesses on the Mornington Peninsula and ensure food businesses 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 below. All registered Class 1 and Class 2 food businesses must follow a Food Safety Program. The State Government has recently introduced changes to the Food Act which may affect the risk classification and Food Safety Program requirements for your proposed 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. Check with the Shire's Statutory Planning Unit on phone 5950 1010 for any permits or restrictions that may apply to property.
  3. Contact South East Water to discuss sewerage and food/oil interceptor (grease trap) requirements. If sewer is not available, you should contact a wastewater consultant or a Shire Environmental Health Officer to discuss onsite wastewater requirements.
  4. 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 online or at
  5. Submit scaled plans of the proposed premises and arrange for an assessment by a Shire Environmental Health Officer. It is requested that you do not begin work on your premises until your plans are approved to prevent costly mistakes.
  6. Visit the register a food business page to lodge your application online. 


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 childcare centres.
  • Class 2 for premises engaged in manufacture or handling of any unpackaged, potentially hazardous foods, such as food that requires temperature control.
  • Class 3A for accommodation gateway (Bed & Breakfast) premises and home-based businesses manufacturing foods with a hot-fill process (e.g. chutney)
  • 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.

Food safety requirements for each class of business

Class Council
Annual 3rd
Party Audit
Food Safety
Food Safety
1 Yes Yes Yes Yes
2 Yes No* Yes Yes
3A Yes No No Yes
3 Yes No* No 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

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. Handwashing remains an important part of food safety at all food businesses and also helps to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. The Environmental Health Team have prepared a short handwashing video for food businesses and community groups who serve food.

Food safety programs and guide

All Class 1 and most Class 2 food businesses must follow a Food Safety Program. In July 2022, The State Government has recently introduced changes to the Food Act which may affect the risk classification and regulatory requirements for your food business. Please refer to the Food Safety Victoria website for further information at changes to food business classifications and regulations.

Information on food safety programs is available from the Victorian Department of Health at Food safety programs to assist you in developing your own program. 

Class 3 food premises should keep completed basic records about food safety practices onsite. This includes details about suppliers, and about potentially hazardous food.

Food safety supervisor requirements

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

Serving alcohol

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