Food businesses

Opening a new food business

All food businesses that prepare, handle and/or store food for sale require registration or notification with their local Council under the Food Act 1984. All food businesses must comply with the requirements of the Food Act and Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

Our guide to Opening your Own Food Business(PDF, 2MB) can help you to understand the steps required to open a new food business in Kingston.

The Guidelines for Food Premises(PDF, 573KB) provides easy to understand fit out requirements for a food business and assist your business to meet requirements of the Food Act and the Food Standards Code.

You might need a planning permit if you plan to run your food business from home.

Call our planning and building team 1300 653 356 to check for any other requirements before you apply.

Contact South East Water to find out what your grease interceptor (trap) requirements are.

Apply for a new food business

Processing your application

  1. Your application will be assigned and reviewed for compliance by an Environmental Health Officer
  2. You will be contacted by the Officer within 14 days (unless an urgent fee was paid) to discuss your application
  3. Further information may be requested or a plans endorsement letter will be issued by email to you
  4. A final inspection is to be scheduled by the new business prior to opening. Please allow up to three working days to book an inspection
  5. All relevant fees (application and registration fees) must be paid prior to commencing operations. Council will provide you with an invoice once the final inspection has been completed for approval. Note: If you have not yet paid your plan processing fee, this amount is also payable now.
  6. A certificate of registration is issued once all fees are paid.

Temporary food premises

A temporary food premises is defined by the Food Act 1984 as a structure that is not permanently fixed to a site. This includes set-ups such as a tent, a stall or a marquee. Market stalls or sausage sizzle stalls are common examples of temporary food premises.

This category also includes the temporary use of a kitchen not owned or leased by the food business. For example, if you are cooking cakes out of a hired kitchen to sell later, you need to register your use of this kitchen as a temporary food premises.

The Running a market stall in Victoria(PDF, 398KB) guidelines detail the process to operate a market stall. For Kingston Events, operators are to meet the requirements detailed in our Food Vendor Information(PDF, 312KB) sheet.

Mobile food business

Mobile food premises must be registered with us and must comply with the Food Act and Food Standards Code before you open.

The Fit Out Guidelines for Mobile Food Premises(PDF, 594KB) provides easy to understand fit out requirements specifically for mobile food businesses.

Streatrader

Temporary food premises operated by businesses and community groups and mobile food businesses are required to register with their principal council on Streatrader; an online platform developed by the Department of Health submit an application.

Once you have submitted your application, please allow up to 14 days for processing. You are unable to trade until your premises has been registered or notified.

Once your premises is registered on Streatrader, you can lodge your Statements of Trade (SOTs) for all future public events you are trading at Streatrader | How do I lodge a Statement of Trade?

For more information visit Streatrader or contact the Environmental Health team on 1300 653 356.

Purchasing an existing food business

If you are buying an existing food business, you can request a pre-purchase inspection prior to settlement to ensure the premises is registered and complies with the requirements of the Food Act and Food Standards Code, particularly if it is an ageing premises.

Pre-purchase inspection request

Apply online to request an inspection and report. Alternatively, complete and return the pre-purchase inspection form(PDF, 80KB). A fee is also payable for this service. Your Environmental Health Officer can provide you with a payment link once details are confirmed.

A Consent to Disclose Information form(PDF, 83KB) must be signed by the current proprietor and submitted with your pre-purchase inspection request form. 

Please allow five working days to schedule a pre-purchase inspection. An inspection report identifying any works required to ensure ongoing legislative compliance will be issued after the inspection. It is up to the current proprietor and purchaser to negotiate who will take responsibility for undertaking the necessary works.

Submitting and paying for your pre-purchase request

Email: You can email your inspection request and consent to disclose forms to info@kingston.vic.gov.au or

Visit: Our Customer Care Centre at 1230 Nepean Highway Cheltenham and submit your application in person (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.00pm).

The fee can be paid over the counter at this time, including the option to pay an urgent processing fee (within seven days).

Notifying us of a change in ownership

New business owners who do not opt to have a pre-purchase inspection are required to complete a change in ownership form(PDF, 107KB).

This form must be completed and returned to the Environmental Health team info@kingston.vic.gov.au with the prescribed fee, within 7 days of the change in ownership. The form must be signed by both parties, as indicated on the form.

Once a completed and signed form is received with payment, a Certificate of Registration will be issued in the name of the new business owner.

A food safety inspection will be conducted by an Environmental Health Officer within 30 days of the change in ownership.

Food safety information for food businesses

All food businesses, organisations and community groups involved in food handling have a responsibility to ensure food for sale is safe and suitable for human consumption.

Food business classifications

Risk classifications for food businesses range from Class 1 to Class 4, with Class 1 being the highest risk food premises. Hospitals, aged care and childcare centres are all examples of Class 1 food premises.

The Department of Health has developed pre-determined classifications for some businesses, organisations and community groups, which guides Environmental Health Officers decision making when registering a new food business. 

Food safety programs

All Class 1 and 2 food businesses require a food safety program.

A Class 1 food premises is required to have a non-standard food safety program that is customised to their specific food handling processes to adequately manage the associated food safety risks.

Food safety program information for Class 2 food businesses is available on the Department of Health’s website Food safety programs

The Department of Health’s Food safety guide for food businesses Class 3 is designed for Class 3 food businesses.

Food safety supervisor

Class 1 and 2 food premises are required to nominate a food safety supervisor.

For further information visit Guide for food businesses - food safety supervisors and training.

Class 3 and 4 food premises do not need a food safety supervisor, however staff members are still required to have the skills and knowledge to safely handle food.

Food Allergens

Food allergies are on the rise in Australia, with up to 10 per cent of infants and 2 in 100 adults affected.

Although a consumer is responsible for their own health, a food business is legally required to comply with the Food Standards Code, which specifies food allergen requirements. Everyone, from the manager through to the food preparation and food service staff, needs to be aware of the risks food allergies pose, and be clear on how to identify and manage the associated risks.

For further information on food allergen management and labelling requirements visit Food Standards Australia Allergen labelling and Food allergen portal.

Food Allergy Training offers free online allergen training for general food service, hospitals, children education and care and schools.

Food recalls

A food recall removes food that may pose a health or safety risk from distribution, sale and consumption.

A food recall may occur because of a report or complaint from manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, government and consumers. It may also occur as a result of a food business conducting internal testing and auditing.

Manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and importers must be able to produce a written recall plan at the request of an Environmental Health Officer. For help writing a recall plan for your business, visit Food Standards Australia New Zealand Food Industry Recall Protocol.