Food Safety

1. Food Premises

Notification

All Food Premises including Home Based Food Businesses located within the Goulburn Mulwaree Local Government Area are required to be registered with Council prior to operation.
Registration is free and is available by completing the Food Premises Registration Form.

Food Premises Registration Form(PDF, 91KB)

Inspection Program

Council’s Environmental Health Officers are Authorised Officers under the Food Act 2003 and may inspect any retail food business that is believed to be used in connection with the handling or sale of food. 

Inspections are carried out without prior notice to the food business and may be carried out at any reasonable time, which usually is during the businesses trading hours. It is an offence to obstruct an Authorised Officer in exercise of their functions under the Food Act.

The inspections focus on a wide range of issues including cleanliness, temperature control, hygiene and food handling practices, pest control, construction and maintenance of the premises and waste storage.

Where premises are found not to be at an acceptable standard, re-inspections may be required until standards are improved to an acceptable level. Food businesses are invoiced for all inspections – the current fees for inspection may be found in Council’s Schedule of Fees and Charges.
 
Breaches of the Food Act 2003 may be addressed by way of: 

  • warning letter;
  • penalty notice;
  • court prosecution;
  • seizure of items/equipment;
  • Improvement Notice; and/or
  • Prohibition Order.

The NSW Food Authority publishes the Food Business Offence Register, which lists businesses that have breached or alleged to have breached NSW food safety laws. Publishing the lists gives consumers more information to make decisions about where they eat or buy food.

For further information email council@goulburn.nsw.gov.au or contact Council's Compliance Department on 02 4823 4409.

2. Scores on Doors

What is Scores on Doors?

Scores on Doors is the NSW hygiene and food safety scoring program that rates local food businesses according to their compliance with food safety legislation. The scoring system, implemented by councils in conjunction with the NSW Food Authority, is based on the requirements of food safety laws and the risks to food borne illness. 

Eligible businesses are provided with a certificate to display at the premise's entrance with the result of the inspection. It lets consumers know how well the business complied with NSW hygiene and food safety requirements.

Scores on Doors Program objectives:

  • Consumers can make informed choices about the places they purchase food
  • Food businesses can showcase their commitment to food safety
  • Promotes competition among businesses
  • Encourages businesses to improve current food handling practices onsite
  • Helps reduce the incidence of food borne illness.

How does it work?

Council’s Environmental Health Officers regularly inspect local food businesses to ensure their continued compliance with food safety legislation. At the time of inspection, eligible businesses will be given a score dependent on their level of compliance. 

Depending on their score, businesses will receive a certificate with either a five-star, four-star, or a three-star rating, which the business can choose to display or not. Businesses that are non-compliant with food safety legislation will NOT receive a certificate. Businesses will receive a new score and new certificate as required after each routine food safety inspection. 

What do the star ratings mean?

During routine inspection, points are allocated for various food handling and hygiene requirements using the NSW Food Authority’s standard Food Premises Assessment Report (FPAR) inspection checklist. Points are accrued for any non-compliance. Based on the total number of points at the end of the inspection, each business will be assigned a star rating according to its performance:

Scores on Doors.jpg

What businesses are eligible to participate?

Scores on Doors is open to eligible retail food businesses operating within participating council areas. The Scores on Doors program is designed for retail food businesses that process and sell food in NSW that is ready-to-eat, potentially hazardous (i.e. requires temperature control), and for immediate consumption. Premises include:

  • Restaurants
  • Takeaways 
  • Cafes 
  • Pub bistros 
  • Bakeries 
  • Hotels
  • Clubs. 

Scores on Doors is not intended for:

  • Supermarkets
  • Delicatessens or greengrocers 
  • Low risk food premises or businesses that serve pre-packaged food, such as petrol service stations and convenience stores
  • Temporary markets, mobile food vending vehicles
  • Retail food businesses that hold a NSW Food Authority license and are separately audited, such as butchers.

Does the program require additional fees/charges?

No. Businesses will not be charged any additional fees.

As a consumer how do I know what score businesses have received?

Eligible businesses who receive a certificate are encouraged to display their certificate in a prominent position, usually in the front window, door or inside. As a consumer, it is good practice to look out for certificates on display to assist you in making informed choices about the places you purchase food.

How can my business get five stars?

Every business has the potential to earn five stars. The following steps can assist you to get the best score possible.

  1. The link below will take you to a copy of the Food Premises Assessment Report (FPAR) that will be used by Council officers on your routine food safety inspection. Complete the checklist yourself to ensure compliance across all areas of assessment.
  2. Address Common Issues: Review past inspection reports to identify problem areas and complete any outstanding works.

(PDF, 245KB)

Food Premises Assessment Report(PDF, 4MB)

Further information

For further information please contact Councils Compliance Department on 02 4823 4409 or visit the NSW Food Authority Scores on Doors page.

3. Design, Construction & Fit-out

All food businesses must be designed and constructed to satisfy the requirements of Food Standards Code 3.2.3 – Food Premises and Equipment

The Australian Standard AS 4674:2004 – Design, construction and fit out of food premises is a method of compliance with the Food Standards Code and is usually a requirement as a condition of Development Consent. Acceptable solutions for the design and construction of Food Premises are detailed in the Food Premises Fit-out Guide(PDF, 4MB) which provides information on appropriate wall, floor and ceiling finishes, ventilation, lighting, storage and facilities.

Some factors to consider when complying with the Australian Standard:

  • Providing adequate space for food storage and food preparation;
  • Hand washing facilities must be hands free (i.e. not capable of being used by hand operation);
  • Hand washing facilities must be located within five metres from where food is handled;
  • Walls must be of solid construction (i.e. stud walls are not permitted);
  • Service pipes and conduits must be concealed within floors, plinths, walls or ceilings or 25 mm from walls and 100 mm from floors and ceilings. 

Most new food premises or upgrades to existing food premises require the lodgement of a Development Application (DA) for approval by Council. Goulburn Mulwaree Council has also developed a GMC Food Premises Fit-out Guide(PDF, 4MB) and checklist specifically for new food premise developments and alterations to existing food premises. The Guide is designed to assist in the preparation of Development Applications and to ensure all necessary information is provided to Council at the time of lodgement for timely assessment. 

 

4. Mobile Food Vending Vehicles 

The NSW Food Authority defines Mobile Food Vending Vehicles as:

  • Any means of transport, whether self-propelled or not, or otherwise designed to be movable, which is used for selling food, whether on land, sea or air.
  • It includes vehicles used for on-site food preparation (e.g. hamburgers, hot dogs and kebabs), one-step food preparation (e.g. popcorn, fairy floss, coffee and squeezing juices), and the sale of any type of food including pre-packaged food.
  • It does not include food vending machines or food transport vehicles.

Before you start your mobile food vending business you will need to address the following with Council:

Approvals

Council approval is usually required for mobile food vending vehicles. It is important to check the requirements with every local council you propose to work in before operation, as penalties may apply for not having the appropriate approvals.

The prior consent of every local council in whose area the vehicle will be used for storing, preparing or selling food may also be required. This includes street trading or operating on private land or public roads.

Council approval may also be required for garaging or maintaining the mobile food vending vehicle at particular premises, especially where the premises are used for storing food supplies and equipment used in connection with the vehicle’s food business operation.

There are costs associated with obtaining these approvals from Council and it is advised that you contact Council as early as possible to determine the approvals required for your specific operation and the associated fees.

The sale of food from a mobile food vending vehicle may only take place with the approval of the owner or person in control of the land on which the vehicle is parked. In this regard the use of a vehicle to sell food in a public place that is, land owned or controlled by the Council, will also require prior written approval from the Council.

Legal Requirements 

Mobile food vendors need to practice safe food handling and preparation to meet food safety requirements. In this regard you will be required to comply with the following legislation and guidelines:

Registration

All mobile food vending vehicles are required to be registered with Council prior to operation within the Goulburn Mulwaree Local Government Area.

Registration is free and is available by completing the Food Premises Registration Form(PDF, 243KB)

 Inspection

Your mobile food vending vehicle will be required to be inspected each financial year. The inspection checks that good food safety practices are in place usually relating to temperature control, cleanliness, hand washing and labelling. Should any issues be identified during the routine inspection, a re-inspection may be required. All Mobile Food Vending Vehicles must also comply with the NSW Food Authority Mobile Food Vending Guidelines.

Routine inspections are usually conducted during operation at markets or events, however Councils Environmental Health Officer may contact you to arrange an inspection of your mobile food vending vehicle and you may be required to bring your mobile food vending vehicle into the Council's offices for inspection.

If the mobile food vending vehicle operates across council boundaries, most councils will use a home jurisdiction rule. This means the vehicle will probably first be inspected by the council in which the vehicle is ordinarily garaged, provided it also trades in that local government area. That council is known as the ‘home council’.

If the vehicle does not trade in the local council area in which it is garaged, then it can be inspected by another council in which it first trades. Other councils in which the vehicle trades are entitled to request to see a copy of the most recent inspection report (less than 12 months old) from the vehicle operator.

 

5. Temporary Food Stalls

All Temporary Food Stalls are required to be registered with Council prior to operation within the Goulburn Mulwaree Local Government Area.

Registration is free and is available by completing the Food Premises Registration Form(PDF, 243KB)

Temporary Food Stalls must also comply with the NSW Food Authority Guidelines for Food Businesses at Temporary Events

 

6. Food Safety Supervisor (FSS) Requirements

The Food Act, 2003 (NSW) requires certain food businesses in the NSW hospitality and retail food service sector to have at least one trained Food Safety Supervisor (FSS). The NSW Food Authority's FSS program was established to help reduce foodborne illness in the hospitality and retail food service sectors in NSW by improving food handler skills and knowledge.

Generally, any food business that processes or sells food at a retail level that is:

  • ready-to-eat;
  • potentially hazardous (requires temperature control); and or
  • ·not sold and served in the supplier’s original packaging,

MUST have a qualified Food Safety Supervisor (FSS).  

Examples of businesses that require a FSS include: Restaurants, cafes, takeaway shops, caterers, mobile caterers, bakeries, pubs, clubs, hotels, temporary premises (e.g. food market stalls) mobile food vendors (e.g. process and sell food from a van) supermarket hot food sales (e.g. hot chickens).

As a business owner you are required to appoint a FSS and maintain a copy of that persons FSS certificate at the premises at all times.

There are some exemptions to the requirement for a Food Safety Supervisor, which are detailed on the NSW Food Authority’s website.

For more information please see the NSW Food Authority's page on the Food Safety Supervisor Requirements