We check all local food businesses to make sure their produce is safe. Council has a legal obligation to inspect food premises and enforce NSW Food Authority requirements. We support your success by offering essential information on your legal obligations as a food business.
Updated information on food safety now available
The NSW Food Authority has updated its Food businesses and COVID-19 webpage which includes the latest advice surrounding the virus.
As of 1 June 2020, restrictions for restaurants and cafes have been eased. To prevent the potential spread of COVID-19, your business is required to develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan. The plan details how your business will keep your customers and workers safe.
If you are offering a dine-in service, it is a requirement that a register of all visitors to your businesses including dine-in customers, all staff and contractors and be maintained for at least 4 weeks.
Council’s Environmental Health Team will be undertaking spot-checks on businesses and have authority to review your Safety Plan and key food safety requirements.
An authorised officer will introduce themselves and present ID upon arrival. No fee is charged for this inspection.
Starting a Food Business
All NSW food businesses (including Mobile and temporary food stalls) must register with Council details of where they intend to trade. Registration is free, by completing a Food Business Owner Details Form.
All food premises must comply with the Australian Food Standards Code. Food handlers must also know these laws and regulations.
Food Handler Courses
Council's Food Handler Courses are currently on hold. A new consistent approach to food safety education will soon be adopted across the entire Northern Beaches. To find out more or to express your interest, call us on 1300 434 434.
Food Safety Supervisors
While Council offers in-house Food Safety Education some businesses are further required to have a Food Safety Supervisor (FSS). FSS requires training and certification, governed by the NSW Food Authority. Find a Registered Training Organisation (RTO)
Council conducts random, unannounced inspections of food premises across the Northern Beaches. These inspections determine whether premises are clean, food handlers have appropriate skills and that food is safely prepared and stored. There are fees for these inspections.
Inspection Fees and Charges
Under the Food Regulation 2010 Councils are able to charge an administration fee to all food businesses subject to inspection during the financial year. The fee is designed to enable Councils to recover more of the costs associated with regulating food businesses.
Under the legislation, this fee must be charged on a sliding scale based on the number of food handlers working in each business. The law also establishes a maximum amount that Councils can charge.
To minimise the impact of this new fee, previous fees for the first planned inspection of the financial year has been abolished. the charge has been set below the maximum permitted. Concessions are also provided for businesses which achieve a 5 STAR compliance rating or are operating a charity or community-based organisations (with evidence).
Reduced inspection frequencies of 18 months or two years for the best performing businesses also further reduce financial impacts from Council inspection.
These changes will mean reduced costs for many businesses, particularly those with good standards. Conversely, poor performing businesses, which require more intervention, should expect to pay more.
The administration fee will support improved education and training to businesses in the near future.
Penalties and Enforcement
Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) range from $330 for an individual to $880 for a corporation. PINs relating to food hygiene are publicly displayed on the NSW Food Authority’s Register of Penalty Notices.
An Improvement Notice is a legal document requiring directions by a specific date and a $330 fee applies.
Prohibition orders can be placed on the premises, part of the premises or a piece of equipment that is a threat to public health.
Noncompliance with the Food Act 2003, including breaches of the Food Standards Code, can result in Council taking the business owner to court. Maximum penalties for failing to comply with the Food Standards Code under the Food Act 2003 is $55,000 for individuals and $275,000 for corporations.
You can check to see if your premises are compliant with food safety standards. Make a self-assessment of your business using this form.
Food Business Owner Details
Food Business Self Assessment
Food Event Registration
Use this form to apply for registration of an event which will include temporary food stalls / mobile food premises.
Food Premises Advisory Inspection Checklist
This form can be completed to request an inspection, prior to sale or purchase of a business, prior to occupation, or for the purpose of a fit-out consultation. Where this inspection is being requested to provide sign off for a final inspection prior to the issue of an Occupation Certificate, you are required to complete all the fields of this form to verify that critical works have been completed prior to booking the inspection. Note: A new food business must submit a Food Business Owner Details Form to Council’s Environmental Health Team and obtain a registration number prior to submitting this form.
Home Food Business Application
Mobile Food Premises Application
Approval is needed to sell food from a vehicle in a public place.
Temporary Food Stall Application & Checklist
Individual stall holders should complete this form to apply for Temporary Food Premises in Northern Beaches Council area.