To start a food-selling business in premises not currently being used as a food premises, download the following:
This provides a step-by-step guide to the process of applying for Food Act 1984 registration, including the permits and inspections which are required, for your new food business.
We also provide information on what is required to ensure the structure of the food premises meets all the required standards.
Purchasing an existing food business
If you are purchasing an existing food business, the Food Act 1984 specifies you must still register with Council. We recommend you obtain an inspection report of the premise before negotiating a purchase. You must get consent from the current owner to release the inspection report.
Food is recalled from sale if it poses a safety risk to consumers.
View the consumer food recalls from the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website. Use the left-hand menu to go to Consumer information and then Food recalls.
Changes to the Food Act 1984 – July 2010
Since 1 July 2010, a new state-wide food business classification system and changed regulatory requirements has applied to food premises operating in Victoria.
Major changes to the Food Act are being phased in from 1 July 2010 and 1 July 2011 to give businesses and community groups sufficient time to prepare.
The changes will allow regulation to be better matched to the level of food safety risk without compromising food safety these changes are intended to reduce the compliance costs for businesses and community groups that sell food by allowing regulation to be better matched to the level of risk of different food business activities.
One of the main changes is a new food premises classification system.
Food premises will now be classed as follows:
Class 1 food premises are those that handle potentially hazardous food that is served to vulnerable groups such as:
- child care centres providing long day care
- aged care facilities such as nursing homes and hostels.
Class 2 food premises are those whose main activity is handling unpackaged potentially hazardous foods which need correct temperature control during food handling process, including cooking and storage, to keep them safe. For example:
- fast food outlets
- delicatessens, supermarkets with delicatessens
- cafes and
- most manufacturers.
Class 3 food premises are those whose main activities is handling unpackaged low risk foods, or the sale of pre-packaged potentially hazardous foods which need refrigeration to keep them safe. For example:
- milk bars
- convenience stores
- fruit stalls selling cut fruit and
- wholesalers distributing pre-packaged foods.
Class 4 food premises are those whose food handling activities pose low risk to the public health, such as:
- bottle shops
- sale of uncut fruit and vegetables at farmers markets or by greengrocers
- shops and stalls with packaged cakes (excluding cream cakes)
- bottled jams
- simple sausages sizzles at stalls.
And include premises that only sell shelf stable pre-packaged confectionery at:
- video/DVD stores.