Food safety information

If your business serves food, then it’s important that you understand and meet food safety requirements. 

Food safety requirements

All cafes, restaurants and retail food outlets must comply with the Food Standards Code, including Standard 3.2.2: Food Safety Practices and General Requirements and Standard 3.2.3: Food Premises and Equipment.

For guidance on fitting out new premises or refurbishing existing premises, refer to Australian Standard AS 4674:2004: Design, construction and fit-out of food premises. Please note alterations to the internal fit-out of food premises need development consent from Council.

Our role in food safety

Council’s Environmental Health Officers are Authorised Officers under the Food Act 2003 and may inspect any business that handles or sells food, including mobile food vans and food businesses at temporary events. About 200 inspections are conducted each year. 

Council’s Environmental Health Officers also:

  • make sure business owners and their staff comply with legislative requirements 
  • provide advice to new and existing food businesses
  • investigate customer complaints about local food premises and food-borne illness.

To speak to an Environmental Health Officer, contact Council on 02 6566 3200.

Inspections

Inspections are carried out without prior notice and may be conducted at any reasonable time, which is usually during business trading hours.

The inspections focus on a wide range of issues, including:

  • cleanliness
  • temperature control
  • hygiene and food handling practices
  • pest control
  • waste storage.

Where premises are found not to be at an acceptable standard, reinspections may be required until standards improve to an acceptable level. Food businesses are invoiced for all re-inspections. Re-inspection fees are listed in Council's Schedule of Fees and Charges(PDF, 2MB)

Scores on Doors

Scores on Doors is the NSW food hygiene scoring program that reassures your customers about your hygiene and food safety standards. The scores rate your food business’s compliance with hygiene and food safety requirements based on routine Council inspections. There are no extra inspections or costs.

If your business is eligible, you will be offered a certificate and sticker to display in a prominent position such as your front window.

Food safety supervisors

The Food Act 2003 requires most food businesses to have at least one trained Food Safety Supervisor. This requirement applies to retail businesses who process and sell food that is ready-to-eat, is potentially hazardous (for example, requiring temperature control) and is not sold or served in the supplier’s original packaging.

To become a Food Safety Supervisor, you must complete training in the national vocational education and training system. More information is available from the NSW Food Authority.

Food businesses at temporary events

If you intend to sell food from a temporary structure or vehicle at a fair, festival, market or show, you must check the requirements with Council well before the event. You may be required to obtain a permit to trade on public land, undergo an inspection or pay a fee.

The NSW Food Authority publishes Guidelines for Food Businesses at Temporary Events, which includes requirements relating to food safety, power supply and waste disposal.

Mobile food vans

If you are a mobile vendor selling food to the public, you are considered a retail food business and must notify Council of your operations. This includes vehicles used for:

  • on-site preparation of food such as hamburgers, hot dogs and kebabs
  • one-step food preparation – for example, popcorn, fairy floss, coffee or juice
  • any type of food, including pre-packaged food.

The NSW Food Authority Guidelines for Mobile Food Vending Vehicles provide useful information on how to meet legal requirements.

If you wish to trade in a public roadway (sometimes referred to as hawking), you will need to apply to Council for an approval under Section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993

More information

NSW Food Authority Starting a Food Business factsheets