There are nearly 200 notified food businesses in the Mid Murray Council. This number is made up of community organisations and sporting clubs, takeaway shops, cafes and restaurants, supermarkets, bakeries, home food businesses, hospitals and food manufacturers.
Operators of food businesses have an obligation under the Food Act 2001 to ensure their food is safe and suitable. The Food Standards Code prescribes compulsory Food Safety Standards that food businesses must comply such as Food Safety Standard 3.2.2 and Food Safety Standard 3.2.3.
Council’s Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) inspect these food businesses for compliance with the Food Standards Code and investigate food poisoning allegations linked to these premises.
Food Business Notification
All food businesses within the council area, including home businesses, must complete a Food Business Notification (FBN) form before commencing trade and any food handling operations. This information will ensure we have correct and up-to-date contact details, location and the nature of the food business. The form is only required once, unless the details of the food business change.
The FBN form must be submitted to the Council where your food business is situated or garaged, and upon your FBN form being processed you will be issued with a unique FBN number.
Home Based Food Businesses
Council only approves Home Based Food Businesses involved in the sale of low risk foods such as cakes (no cream), biscuits, jams and preserves (strictly no preserving in oil). These foods do not require refrigeration and are shelf stable. Council only approves Home Based Food Businesses involved in the sale of low risk food because domestic kitchens are generally not designed and equipped for commercial food production. For more information please refer to the SA Health Communication ‘Preparation of Potentially Hazardous Food in Domestic Kitchens (home-based businesses’.
Food Safety Inspections
Food Businesses are routinely inspected against the Food Standards Code in accordance with a frequency that correlates with the risk of the food business. These inspections are unannounced. A food business considered high risk may be inspected every 12 months whereas a low risk food business may be inspected every 18-24 months or on a complaint only basis.
When inspecting a food business, the EHO assesses things like the cleanliness and suitability of the premises, food storage, handling, processing and display, and general skills and knowledge of food handlers. If the EHO identifies non-compliance during the inspection, further action may be taken in an effort to ensure the food business secures compliance with the Food Standards Code.
Temporary Food Businesses at Organised Events
The provisions of the Food Standards Code also apply to temporary food businesses at organised events. In a temporary trading environment the Food Safety Fundamentals of food handler hygiene, temperature control and protection of food from contamination require additional care and attention. If you are planning to conduct a temporary food business as part of an organised event, you must provide your Food Business Notification (FBN) number to the event organiser. The event organiser will then supply a list of the confirmed food vendors for the event to Council.
A copy of current public liability insurance details (Certificate of Currency (CoC)) in the name of the applicant/business for the minimum sum of ten million dollars ($10,000,000) must also be submitted to the event organiser. Coordination of attendance and approval to attend at an organised event is the responsibility of the event organiser.
It is important to remember that Council’s EHO may conduct unannounced inspections of your temporary food business whilst operating at an organised event.
Please note: Temporary Food Business approval does not provide approval to use Council land or use a public road for business purposes outside of approved events. In this case a Mobile Food Vendor Permit or Mobile Ice Cream Vendor Permit is required.
Mobile Food Vendors and Mobile Ice Cream Vendors
If you have a Mobile Food Van or Mobile Ice Cream Van and wish to trade on Council land or use a public road outside of an organised event then an application for a Mobile Food Vendor Permit or Mobile Ice Cream Vendor Permit is required (whichever applicable). Mobile Food Vendor’s must comply with Council’s Location Rules (Mobile Ice Cream Vendors exempt). In short, the location rules require approved Mobile Food Vendors to operate from sites that are:
- Greater than 500m of a fixed food business,
- Within zones not deemed Residential (or similar) (including the Shack Settlement Policy Area) as per Mid Murray Council’s Development Plan,
- Outside of Council Reserves or Parks (unless approved via an event permit),
- Not declared as main or arterial roads, and
- That do not interfere with parking requirements applying to a particular site.
If you decide to go ahead with your Mobile Food Vendor Permit or Mobile Ice Cream Vendor Permit application, a monthly or annual permit fee is applicable on lodgement of your application. Please check Council’s Fees & Charges Register (page 7) for current application fees.
Please note: The location rules for Mobile Ice Cream Vendors are contained within the relevant permit application.
Food Safety Recalls
For information regarding current Food Safety Recalls, please visit the relevant section of Food Safety Australia New Zealand here.
Food Safety in an Emergency - Fact Sheets
Free Food Safety Training - DoFoodSafely
DoFoodSafely is a free, non-accredited, online learning program provided by the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria and proudly supported by Queensland Health and South Australia Health.
The interactive, logical and easy learning format will assist you and your staff to develop the skills and knowledge required to ensure safe and suitable food for your customers and to comply with your obligations under the Food Standards Code for Australia and New Zealand.
Click here to access the DoFoodSafely online training program.