Food Business Inspections

While food shop inspections must continue to ensure the health and safety of the community, no fees will be charged.

Council's Environmental Health Officers are contacting each food shop on our register to ascertain if they are currently operating and offering delivery/take away food options.

Risk/performance based food shop inspections

North Sydney Council, in conjunction with the NSW Food Authority, moved towards a risk/performance based food shop inspection program on 1 July 2018.


How does this work?

All food businesses are allocated a “risk rating”, of either high, medium or low risk.

The businesses risk rating is dependent on many factors including the type of food being handled, how your business processes/prepares food, the size of your business and the types of customers you serve (eg: babies/young children; predominantly elderly).

The risk rating is then used as a factor in determining how frequently Council inspects your business.

Another factor to be considered when determining the inspection frequency is the businesses performance history.

For the first-time businesses with an “excellent” inspection history will not be inspected with the same frequency as a business with a poor history. Eligible businesses, with “excellent” performance histories will likely be inspected every 18 months rather than annually. However, business with poor performance histories are likely to be routinely inspected every 6 months.


What do I need to do to achieve an “excellent” performance history?

A business is deemed to be have an “excellent” performance history when their previous two primary inspections have each resulted in none to only very minor non-compliances being noted. Typically, a “5 Star” rating on each occasion (based on the Scores on Doors Program rating system).


What does this mean for your business?

Businesses who have demonstrated a history of compliance are to be rewarded by less frequent inspections (and by association fewer inspection fees).

Businesses who demonstrate on going poor compliance will be subjected to more frequent inspections, until their compliance history improves or their risk rating changes.

Inspection frequencies are reviewed after each food premises inspection.


As a guide the following table shows examples of the types of premises that fall into each category: 

Risk rating  Performance history Minimum routine inspection frequency
High risk excellent performer every 12 months
High risk average performer every 8-12 months
High risk poor performer every 6 months.
Medium risk excellent performer every 12-18 months
Medium risk average performer every 8-12 months
Medium risk poor performer every 6-12 months
Low risk – incident only