Food Safety

Food premises such as hotels, restaurants, take-away shops, stalls and food caravans must comply with food safety standards.

Our Health Officers routinely visit premises such as hotels, restaurants, take-away shops, stalls and food caravans, to ensure that they comply with food safety standards.

By law, food retailers must ensure that all food is:   

  • Free from contamination
  • Unadulterated
  • Safe for consumption.

So you want to run a food business?
If you are thinking about buying an existing food business or starting your own, there are some important things you should know.  To protect the public, all food businesses must comply with our food laws, including the Victoria Food Act 1984.  Visit the Department of Health - Food Business Information for further details.

Video: How to set up a Safe Food Business in Darebin
We have created an animated video to assist you visually in setting up a new food business. It will take you through each step of the application process.  

Registering a Food Business
Step 1: Planning Permit and/or Building Permit

Prior to registering your food business, make an enquiry about your proposal to our Planning and Building departments.

Check to determine whether your intended proposal requires further permits. If a Planning or Building Permit is required, do not commence any work on the food premises until you have received the required permits.

If you proceed with the works and commence to open for business without the required permits, you will be required to stop operating your business until you have the necessary permits.

Compliance with Disability Access Requirements
All buildings should be accessible to, and provide facilities for all members of the public, including people with a disability.

The Building Code of Australia sets the minimum requirements which should be assessed by your Building Surveyor as part of the Building Permit process.

By providing good access to people with a disability, whether they are patrons or staff, you are also increasing access for a wide range of other people including mothers with prams, older people and delivery people with trolleys. With 19% of the population having a disability of some kind, it makes good business sense to provide access for everyone.

Step 2: On-Site Inspection
Contact us to arrange an onsite meeting with a Health Officer to discuss your proposed food premises.

Step 3: Premises Specifications and Plans Approval
To assist you with the layout of your food premises please refer to the relevant food guidelines for detail on food premises specifications and standards:


Draw a plan of your proposal on A4 or A3 size paper, showing the following items:

  • The use of each area of the premises
  • The location of all fittings, hand basins, sinks, cool rooms and equipment
  • Location of the floor waste drains, cleaners sink and grease trap
  • Details of floors, walls, ceilings, fittings and their finishes
  • Provide specifications on the Mechanical Exhaust System.

Then, submit to us:

Alternatively, you can Submit your Application Online.

Step 4: Food Safety Supervisor (FSS)
All Class 1 and Class 2 premises must name someone to be the Food Safety Supervisor. The Supervisor must ensure that all staff who handle food in the business have the skills and knowledge appropriate to their duties.

The Supervisor is required to undertake formal training and must complete the Food Safety Supervisor Course prior to the business opening. You also must submit a copy of the Statement of Attainment (Course Certificate) at the Final Inspection. For local Food Safety Supervisor training organisations, please click here.

Step 5: Food Safety Program (FSP)
During the final inspection, all Class 1 and Class 2 premises must lodge a Food Safety Program with the Health Officer. The written program shows how a business monitors all procedures involved in safe food handling. Visit our Food Safety Programs section for further information.

Step 6: Pre-Final Inspections 
Contact your Health Officer for inspections to be made during construction. We encourage food business operators or builders to work closely with your Health Officer at all stages of construction.

Step 7: Final Inspection and Application For Registration
Once the premises has been given final approval to operate, the Health Officer will provide you with an Application for a New Food Act Registration Form.

At the final inspection the Health Officer will require the following items:

  • A completed Application for a New Food Act Registration Form
  • New Registration Fee according to Class Type
  • Statement of Attainment for the Food Safety Supervisor.

The Certificate of Registration will be posted out to you within two weeks.

Food Handler Information Sessions
We run free Food Handler Information Sessions for all food handlers working within a food business in Darebin. These information sessions are divided into industry specific groups and cover a range of topics. Visit our Food Handler Information section for further information.

Purchasing an existing Food Business
Prior to purchase, any intending buyer is strongly recommended to obtain an inspection report of the premises by a Health Officer to determine what work needs to be done (if any) to bring it up to standard.

The request should be made two weeks prior to settlement to ensure any outstanding items are completed prior to sale, otherwise these outstanding items become the responsibility of the new proprietor.  A fee applies to each pre-purchase inspection.

Upon receipt of the Request for Premises Inspection Form you will be advised as to any matters requiring attention and an application form to transfer the registration.

Food Safety in an Emergency 
To help you prepare for a power failure, read the Food Safety in an Emergency from Department of Health which outlines what to do during and after a power outage.


Further Information
Health Protection
Ph: (03) 8470 8658

Setting up a new food business video
Food safety video for food handlers
Food safety video on cleanliness

All proprietors have a duty of care to ensure the food they sell is safe. All food businesses must have a Food Safety Program in place to operate in the City of Darebin.

A Food Safety Program is a written plan which helps you control risks within your business.

All proprietors opening a new food business or transferring into an existing food business are also required to have a Food Safety program in place.

If you are a business owner, you need to nominate a Food Safety Supervisor (FSS). The Supervisor is responsible for creating and reviewing the Food Safety Program. All areas outlined in the Food Safety Program are to be demonstrated to the Health Officer during the approval process.

Obtaining a Food Safety Program
A proprietor with a Class 2 premises can choose to use either of the following program types:

1. Food Safety Program Template
The Department of Human Services has a number of approved Food Safety Program Templates which have been designed to be easy and cost effective.

The Department of Health Food Safety Program Template for retail and food service businesses is available from their website or can be purchased from Information Victoria: 1300 366 356.

FoodSmart is an internet based Template that allows most food retail or food service businesses to build a Food Safety Program on-line. It will use your answers to create a Food Safety Program Template which is specific to your business that can be completed over a period of time. The full project may take a few hours but if required, the program can be saved and continued at a later date. For more information contact Information Victoria on 1300 366 356.

2. Third Party Audited Food Safety Programs
Class 1 premises are businesses who provide food to vulnerable groups within the community, i.e. Nursing Home Kitchens, Child Care Centres, Hospital Kitchens, etc.

This is a site specific Food Safety Program which must be approved by an Independent Auditor. The Department of Health can provide you with a list of Independent Auditors.

The role of the Independent Auditor is to assess the site according to the documentation provided, therefore the Food Safety Program must be fully operational at the time of approval.

Further Information 
Health Protection
Ph: 8470 8658

Information about food stalls, temporary and mobile premises.

In July 2011, changes to the Food Act 1984 introduced a state-wide registration and notification scheme for all temporary and mobile food businesses.

A temporary food premises registration or notification is required for food sold or served at events regardless of whether they are profitable, non-profitable or charity organisations. Events include festivals, markets, single temporary stalls, fetes or sausage sizzles.

What are temporary or mobile food premises?
“Temporary food premises” are temporary stalls or tents from which food is sold, such as at a market or festival. It can be any structure that is not permanently fixed to a site.

“Mobile food premises” are vehicles such as vans, trailers or carts from which food is sold. Under the state-wide system, you are required to nominate which Local Government Council would be primarily responsible for approving your food handling operations. This will be referred to as your “Principal Council” and this single registration will allow you to operate throughout Victoria. Depending on the type of food handling activities, you may be required to maintain a food safety program and have a food safety supervisor or you may only need to complete a Notification to Operate Form.

A “Principal Council” is determined by the municipality where you:
• prepare or store food that is to be sold at the stall or food van; or
• if food is not usually prepared or stored beforehand by the organisation (e.g. if it is donated by volunteers) - the municipality in which the group usually stores the equipment for the stall or garages the food van; or
• if none of the above apply - the district in which the usual business address for the group is located; or
• if none of the above are in Victoria - the district in which the stall or food van will first operate in Victoria.

Once you have determined your “Principal Council” make contact with the relevant council and follow their registration or notification procedures.

If your “Principal Council” is the City of Darebin?
Firstly you need to determine your business classification as defined under the Food Act 1984 which can be found using the following link: Business Classification

Once you have determined your classification you will need to contact Darebin’s Health Protection Unit on (03) 8470 8658 to arrange registration or notification.

Class 2
Class 2 food premises are those that handle unpackaged potentially hazardous foods which need correct temperature control during the food handling process - including cooking and storage - to keep them safe.

These businesses require registration under the Food Act 1984 and may also be requested to submit plans for officer approval. Class 2 businesses must also maintain a Department of Health approved Food Safety Program and at least one person within the business must be a qualified Food Safety Supervisor.

Class 3
Class 3 food premises are those whose main activities involve the sale of foods not commonly associated with food poisoning. This includes the supply or handling of unpackaged low risk foods, or sale of prepackaged potentially hazardous foods which simply need refrigeration to keep them safe. These businesses require registration under the Food Act 1984 and may also be requested to submit plans for officer approval.

Class 4
Class 4 food premises are those whose food handling activities pose low risk to public health. Very low risk businesses that fall into a Class 4 classification do not require registration and are exempt from paying any Council Food Act related fees. They must however submit a notification to Darebin notifying Council that we are your “Principal Council”.
Streatrader is a centralised database which is currently available, and all proprietors of temporary and mobile food premises will be able to register or submit notifications online. This database replaces the previous manual ‘Statement of Trade’ procedure and now allows you to electronically alert Councils state-wide of your intention to operate within their municipality.

Once Darebin City Council has approved your notification or application for registration, you can enter your details onto the Streatrader system. The Streatrader database can be found via this link:

Please note: Council Health Officers may ask you to produce your Food Act registration or notification certificate when you are trading. So be sure you have it with you wherever you are trading. If you fail to lodge statements of trade you at risk of receiving an infringement.

Combining Temporary and Mobile Food Premises with a Fixed Food Premises
If you have registered as a permanent food premises from which you prepare or store food that is to be sold from a temporary or mobile food premises, you can register with the same Council where your permanent business is registered.

Will I need any other permits?
If you wish to operate on Council owned land within Darebin, an Itinerant Traders Permit from Council is required in order to sell goods. Please contact Darebin Local Laws Unit on (03) 8470 8888.

For any queries relating to Streatrader please contact the Health Protection Unit on (03) 8470 8658.

Department of Health website
More information on the requirements for temporary and mobile food premises is available on the Department of Health Website.

Further Information
Health Protection
Ph: (03) 8470 8658


Food identified as a risk to public health and safety is recalled.

A food recall is defined as ‘an action taken to remove from distribution, sale and consumption, food which may pose a health and safety risk to consumers.’

A food recall may be initiated by:

  • Consumer complaints
  • Company testing
  • Government testing.
Food Recalls in Australia
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is the coordinating agency for all food recalls in Australia.

Prompt notification of food recalls can help ensure quick removal of any affected food items that you may have within your business.

You can use the Food Standards subscription service to receive notifications of food recalls as well as updates.

Further Information
Health Protection
Ph: 8470 8658

Food Handler Information Sessions offered by the Health Protection Unit, twice per year.

Darebin's Health Protection Unit is offering FREE Food Handler Information Sessions for all food handlers working within a food business in Darebin.  All sessions cover a range of topics including:   

  • Temperature Control
  • Food Storage and Display
  • Cleaning and Sanitising
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Cross Contamination
  • Pest Control
  • Legal Responsibilities
  • Food Safety Programs & Minimum Records

These interactive information sessions involve a slide show presentation, a hand wash exercise, an assessment and a group discussion.  Everyone receives a resource folder which contains food safety pamphlets, posters and other items.  The sessions are suitable for part-time staff, casuals and volunteers.

Light refreshments are available at all sessions.  Please advise if you have any special dietary requirements.

NOTE: This is NOT a Food Safety Supervisor Course.

All sessions will be held at the:

Council Offices
City of Darebin
Level 1, 350 High Street

To register visit or select from one of the following sessions:

Further Information:

Health Protection
Ph: (03) 8470 8658