Food businesses

Any business that sells food or drink in the Mount Alexander Shire must be registered with Council and follow regulations to ensure that the food they sell is safe to eat.

This includes:

  • Cafes
  • Restaurants
  • Domestic kitchens
  • Mobile food vehicles
  • Food stalls
  • Grocers
  • Supermarkets
  • Child care centres
  • Aged care facilities
  • Similar businesses

Starting or operating a food business

Starting your own food business

Buying an existing food business

If you are purchasing an existing food or beverage premises you must complete a new Application for registration even if you intend to carry on the same business activities.  

Download and complete the Application for Registration of a Food Premises (Class 1, 2 or 3 food premises)(PDF, 427KB).

A copy of the Food Safety Plan and Food Safety Supervisor's certificate are required for Class 1 or 2 businesses.

Please allow a minimum of 15 business days for processing of this application.

You cannot trade or prepare food at the premises until a Public & Environmental Health Officer has inspected the premises and a certificate of Food Act Registration is issued to you.

Mobile and temporary food businesses

If you're having a sausage sizzle, selling food at a market stall or selling food from a food truck you must register with Council through the FoodTrader website. You'll also need to lodge a Statement of Trade each time you are selling food.

Here's how you go about it:

  • Register with FoodTrader - Instructions on how to do this can be found on the FoodTrader website.
  • Lodge a Statement of Trade - Once you're registered, you will need to lodge a Statement of Trade for each event you attend. Information on how to lodge can be found on the FoodTrader website
  • Renew your registration - Registrations with FoodTrader are annual and you will have to renew your registration each year when prompted. More information on renewing your registration can be found on the FoodTrader website.

Food safety requirements

Food safety

Council's Environmental Health officers perform an important role by ensuring local food businesses are complying with the provisions of the Food Act and Australian Food Safety Standards.

The following duties are performed to protect the community and raise food hygiene standards:

  • Inspect food premises to ensure food is prepared and sold in a safe manner
  • Conduct food sampling
  • Investigate food related complaints
  • Conduct food recalls
  • Seize potentially unsafe food to prevent its sale

Complaints relating to the operation of a food business or alleged food poisoning within our shire can be lodged calling Customer Service on 03 5471 1700.

Classification of food businesses

There are four classes of food premises, class 1, class 2, class 3 and class 4. The classification system means that regulatory requirements are better matched to the level of risk associated with the food handling activities at different types of premises. Class 1 has the highest and class 4 the lowest level of legal requirements. In summary, the classes are:

Class 1

Food premises are those that predominantly handle hazardous food that is served to vulnerable people in: 

  • Hospitals 
  • Child care centres providing long day care 
  • Aged care facilities

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. This premises type includes: 

  • Restaurants and cafés 
  • Fast food outlets 
  • Pubs/hotels 
  • Caterers 
  • Delicatessens 
  • Supermarkets with delicatessens 
  • Most manufacturers

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 the sale of pre-packaged hazardous foods which need refrigeration to keep them safe. Premises expected to fall into class 3 include: 

  • Fruit stalls selling cut fruit 
  • Wholesalers distributing pre-packaged foods 
  • Most milk bars, convenience stores and coffee bars

Class 4

Food premises are those whose food handling activities pose low risk to public health. They include the following: 

  • Premises which sell shelf-stable pre-packaged foods such as confectionary – newsagents, pharmacies and video stores 
  • Bottle shops 
  • Premises which sell uncut fruit and vegetables such as farmers markets and greengrocers 
  • Shops and stalls selling packaged cakes (excluding cream cakes), bottled jams or honey. 
  • Seasonal kindergartens serving low risk food and cut fruit 
  • Stalls running simple sausage sizzles, where the sausages are cooked and served immediately – Can include onions, sauce and bread. Does not include hamburgers or other high risk foods

Class 4 businesses are required to complete and submit a Notification of Fixed Class 4 Food Premises(PDF, 59KB) form(PDF, 59KB).

Food safety programs

Class 1 and 2 food businesses must complete a food safety program and comply with any relevant documentation associated with the business.

Approved templates can be found at:

Class 3 premises must maintain Minimum Records as required under the Food Act.

Food safety supervisors

A food safety supervisor’s role in a business is to recognise, prevent and lessen hazards linked with the handling of food.

All Class 1 and Class 2 food businesses must have a food safety supervisor who has completed training with a registered training organisation. Note that charities or not-for-profit groups running class 2 activities are not legally required to have a food safety supervisor if:

  • Those handling the food are mostly volunteers, and
  • The food activity takes place at the site for a maximum of two consecutive days at any one time

For more information visit the Department of Health.