What you Need to Know
A food business or premises is an enterprise or activity that involves the handling and sale of any sort of food in Australia.
There are more than 600 food businesses operating in the North Sydney area. Council keeps a register of these food premises. Inspections are carried out by Council on a yearly basis and you are required to:
- Register business details with Council using the registration forms (see below) for:
- food premises
- temporary food stalls
- mobile food vending vehicles
Enforcement & Register with Us
While every effort is made by Council from an educational perspective to inform business operators and staff of their food safety responsibilities, it should be recognised that Council also has a regulatory role in enforcing the food laws. As a consequence, from time to time, Council officers undertake regulatory action for breaches of the food laws. This action may arise from a routine inspection of a food business, or as a result of the investigation of a complaint. From an enforcement perspective, Council officers have a number of options, including the issuing of verbal or written warnings for dealing with breaches of the food laws. The circumstances applicable to each situation are considered prior to instigating any form of enforcement action.
The regulatory tools available to Council officers under the Food Act 2003 include the following:
- The use of a Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN is an on-the-spot fine).
- The institution of legal action.
- The use of an Improvement Notice to require work to be done with a minimum 24 hours compliance period.
- The issuing of a Prohibition Order to require the mandatory closure of a business until a further inspection discloses a satisfactory outcome. A Prohibition Order can also apply to an unsatisfactory food vehicle or a specific appliance.
- The power to seize item(s) of food which are considered unsafe for human consumption.
- The use of a Notice under Section 124 of the Local Government Act 1993.
In the interests of maintaining general community health standards and preventing potential food poisoning incident(s), Council is anxious to ensure that the food safety and hygiene aspects of each food business are maintained at the highest standard.
Food - Premises
Register your food premises with us. And read up on the requirements for shops and food premises, their construction and setup.
Food Premises - registration form (103KB)
Food Premises - Design, Construction and Fit Out Guide (4MB)
Food - Temporary Stall
Register your temporary food stall with us, and read up on the requirements for their construction and operation.
Temporary Food Stall - registration form (204KB)
Temporary Food Stall - Council requirements (38KB)
Temporary Food Stall - checklist (84KB)
Temporary Food Stall - NSW Food Authority requirements
Food - Mobile Food Vending - application form
Apply to operate your mobile food vending vehicle within the North Sydney Council local government area.
Mobile Food Vending Vehicle - apply to operate (187KB)
Mobile Food Vending Vehicles and Temporary Food Stalls Policy (341KB)
Credit Card Authority form (169KB)
Food - Sausage Sizzles and Barbecues
Sausage Sizzles and Barbecues - requirements (67KB)
Sausage sizzles and BBQs are a popular way to raise money for charities and community groups. They are often held outdoors to take advantage of Australia's good weather and open spaces. Provided you take some simple food safety precautions and sell freshly-cooked and straight from the barbecue then the food should be safe.
Health & Hygeine
Ensure that all staff have appropriate skills and knowledge in food safety and food hygiene in keeping with the activities of the business. Ensure that all staff are informed of their specific health and hygiene responsibilities under Food Safety Standard 3.2.2 (Clauses 13-15) which are available from the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website.
State Government food laws enable Council officers to issue a Penalty Infringement for an offence under these laws. North Sydney Council officers are currently issuing these fines when offences are detected.
Each food premises will be inspected regularly by North Sydney Council. One is entitled to ask the inspecting officer for formal identification. Each inspection, including any required reinspection(s), will generate an invoice from Council.
Compliance with the food laws by all operators and staff will enhance community health, ensure a continued high standard of customer satisfaction, and avoid any regulatory action by Council.
New South Wales Food Authority
Phone: 9741 4777
Food Safety Supervisors
1 Oct 2010 - new food laws introduced in NSW require certain food businesses in the hospitality and retail food service sector to appoint at least one trained Food Safety Supervisor (FSS).
Reduce Artificial Trans and Saturated Fats
Businesses can download the Heart Foundation's 3 Step Guide.
Businesses should also be aware of our advice on Trans Fatty Acids: Does your business need an oil change? (227KB)
The 3 Step Guide briefly outlines why it is important to reduce the level of these fats in our food supply, where they are found on menus and simple steps that can be taken to reduce them.
Staff Illness Policy
To minimise the potential for the spread of germs from infected food handlers to customers, it is important that each food business develop and implement a staff illness policy to which the attention of new and existing staff should be drawn.
Note that the words food handling have a very broad meaning and include making, manufacturing, producing, collecting, extracting, processing, storing, transporting, delivering, preparing, treating, preserving, packing, cooking, thawing, serving or displaying food.
All food handling staff shall report all health problems to the owner/manager/supervisor before commencing work or immediately if an illness occurs during a shift.
Any food handling staff that is suffering from infected skin lesions such as skin sores, boils, acne, cuts, abrasions or allergies or discharges from the ear, nose or eyes shall report such matters to the owner/manager/supervisor and take all practical measures to prevent food being contaminated.
All food handling staff who have any symptoms of gastro or fever type illnesses such as diarrhoea, upset stomach, sore throat or sinus infection, coughing or sneezing, vomiting or nausea are excluded from handling unpackaged foods or any other activity which may result in possible contamination of food or the premises or equipment or appliances.
All such illnesses are recorded including details of staff name, type of symptoms experienced, date and the time the illness was first reported and the time when the food handler was excluded from handling unpackaged foods.
Food handlers are only allowed to return to food handling duties when they provide a doctor's certificate stating that they are fit to return to food handling duties or 48 hours after the end of the symptoms
The date and time of the return to work of the food handler is recorded in the sickness register and the medical certificate is filed appropriately.
Any medication must be stored with the employee's personal belongings and well away from food handling areas.
Any bandages worn on the hands shall be covered with a disposable glove.
The owner/manager/supervisor shall notify the enforcement agency (Council) if an employee reports that he/she is suffering from specifically diagnosed diseases such as Hepatitis A, Norwalk disease, Typhoid fever, Shigellosis, Staphylococcal and Streptococcal diseases (except Staphylococcus aureus), Campylobacter enteritis, Amoebiasis, Giardiasis, Salmonellosis, Rotaviral enteritis, Taeniasis, Cholera and Yersiniosis.
Staff are also reminded of their personal Health and Hygiene responsibilities as outlined in Division 4 of Food Safety Standard 3.2.2, which can be accessed on their website.