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Keeping your food safe
Council works with food proprietors towards ensuring that all food being sold, manufactured or stored is safe for human consumption and to reduce the incidence of foodborne diseases. Council undertakes the following functions in relation to food safety:
- The Registration of businesses under the Food Act 1984 (any business or person who prepares, sells, manufactures or packages food for public consumption).
- Regular inspections of food businesses to ensure compliance with food safety legislation, standards and codes.
- Investigation of food related complaints.
- Advising food businesses of relevant food recall details.
- Assisting new and existing businesses to ensure compliance with food legislation and standards.
- Undertaking food sampling to determine the presence of harmful bacteria, foreign objects or incorrect labeling.
- Monitoring of food stalls, markets, fairs and festivals.
Food Act amendments
Recent amendments to the Food Act 1984 have lead to a number of changes including a new system of classifying Victorian Food Businesses. The new classification system means that regulatory requirements are better matched to the level of food safety risk associated with the food handling activities at different types of premises. There are now four classes of food premises - class 1, class 2, class 3 and class 4.
Classes 1, 2 and 3 premises must be registered with Council.
Class 4 premises must notify Council of their business details using the Notification of a Food Premises form.
Anybody involved in preparing, storing, selling or packaging food for people to eat must be registered with Council under the Food Act 1984. All food premises must comply with relevant Australian Standards, the Food Safety Standards and the Food Standards Code.
If you are opening, purchasing or selling a food premises or if you plan to serve food as part of your accommodation premises there are a number of permits you need to apply for before you can open your premises.
Prior contact with Council Environmental Health Officers is strongly recommended to assist you in setting up your food premises correctly. For additional information contact the Environmental Health Unit on (03) 5559 4800. Please note that approvals may also be required from Councils Planning and Building Departments. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all appropriate permits have been sought.
Food proprietors are also required to submit a Food Safety Program (FSP) and satisfy food handling training requirements.
Temporary events/food stalls
If you are planning to operate a once-off temporary food premises you must obtain approval from the Warrnambool City Council. For low risk food events such as sausage sizzles (this does not include hamburgers or other high risk foods), or cakes stalls (excluding cream cakes) complete a Notification of a Food Premises form.
For all other events complete a Register a Temporary Food Premises form.
New state-wide single registration system for food stalls and mobile food premises
Since 1 July 2011 a new state-wide registration scheme replaced the previous system whereby each event would require a temporary registration from the Council in which you trade. Depending on your food handling activities, if you operate a food van, food stall, food vending machines or a drinking water carting business you will now only need to register with (classes 2 & 3) or notify (class 4) your “Principal Council”.
Your “Principal Council” is the municipality where:
- you prepare or store food that is to be sold at the stall or van; or
- if food is not usually prepared or stored beforehand by the business/organisation – the district in which you usually store the equipment for your stall, or garage your van; or
- if none of the above apply – the district where the usual business address for your organisation is located; or
- if none of the above are in Victoria – the district in which the stall or van will first operate.
Once your principal Council has given you a state-wide registration certificate (or accepted a class 4 notification), you must inform all relevant councils about you trading intentions.
Do I need to inform every council I operate within?
Lodge a Food Act Statement of Trade (SOT) and a copy of your principle council’s Food Act Registration certificate at each Council district where your van or stall will be operating (link to forms below).
A copy of all SOTs must also be given to your principal council so that it understands the extent of your operations, and can answer any questions asked by other councils about your registration or notification. Your SOTs do not need to be approved. Please note you risk a fine if you fail to lodge statements of trade within 5 days of operation.
Temporary & Mobile Businesses Forms
In 2012, temporary and mobile food operators will be able to register or notify council, renew their registration, and lodge their statements of trade online.
Refer to the Department of Health website for further information as well as updates on the online scheme, including its commencement date.
For temporary events or food premises where tables and chairs are to be setup on the footpaths a permit from Councils Local Law Office is required. Please refer to the Local Laws webpage for further information.