Food premises inspections, food complaints and food business notification requirements.
Consumers have the right to expect the food that they purchase and eat is protected from microbiological contamination, free from foreign matter and not subjected to poor food handling practices.
It is estimated that at least 1.5 million Australians suffer from a food related illness each year.
There are approximately 150 food business premises within the Whyalla City Council area. Routine inspections are carried out by the Environmental Health Officer to ensure compliance with the Food Act 2001, Food Regulations 2002 and the Food Safety Standards.
Inspection include assessment of the following areas:
Routine inspections are subject to fees, see below:
All businesses selling food are required to notify their local council. Under the Food Act 2001 a food business means a business, enterprise or activity (other than a primary food production business) that involves:
Regardless of whether the food business, enterprise or activity concerned is of a commercial, charitable or community nature or whether it involves the handling or sale of food on one occasion only.
Food business even includes businesses like chemists, cinemas, corner stores, petrol stations and swimming pools, if they sell packaged or any other type of food. Food businesses, from major food manufacturers to the local church group that holds a once a year food fair, have defined responsibilities under the legislation to ensure the safety of food.
Food business notification can be done by contacting council's Environmental Health Officer for a notification form or by downloading and completing the attached form. There is no fee of notification; however there are penalties for not notifying council.
Food complaints can be reported to council's Environmental Health Officer on 8640 3444 for investigation. Complaints may be made on a variety of food related issues which may include but are not limited to issues with; unclean premises, poor food handling practices, food poisoning, microbiological contamination and foreign matter.
For our investigations to be made more effective it is advised that you take the following steps:
Many temporary events involving the sale or supply of food occur in the community each year examples of such events include; community fundraisers, cake stalls, school fetes, charity events, sausage sizzles, festivals, shows and concerts. If you are hosting or are part of a temporary event there are safety measures that should be considered. These are included in the Whyalla City Council Guidelines for temporary food premises
If your producing food at home for sale directly to persons and/or for sale to premises such as cafes and grocery stores and/or at events such as fetes and fairs then you are a home based food business and applies to you.
Facilities must be designed and constructed to minimise the opportunity for food contamination.
As a minimum the following must be met:
Every person in the food preparation and storage area needs to comply with the requirements of the Food Act 2001, Food Regulations 2002 and Food Safety Standards, with particular attention to the following:
Food manufactured for sale in South Australia needs to comply with product labelling requirements including nutrition panels, ingredients lists and supplier details. For further information or to see if your business needs to meet these requirements refer to the Guidelines of packaged food for retail sale.
Home based food businesses are subject to the same food safety and hygiene requirements as commercial businesses and as such are subject to the same non-compliance penalties.
You must have regard for cleanliness, temperature control and appropriate preparation, display and sale of foods.
Foods such as raw and ready-to-eat meats, poultry and fish or items containing these, milk and foods containing milk such as custards and cream, cooked pasta and rice, salads, cut fruits and vegetables, lasagne's, curry, sushi, sandwiches, etc. are classified as potentially hazardous foods and need to be kept under correct temperature controls to minimise the growth of potentially harmful bacteria.
Businesses are required to comply with the following legislation and standards:
Under the requirements of the Food Act 2001, all food businesses are required to notify their Local Council (the enforcement agency) of the food business details via a Food Business Notification Form. Businesses are required to notify of their operations within 14 days of beginning operations.
Domestic kitchen facilities are generally deemed to be unsuitable for use unless the use is limited to small scale and /or low risk food activities; this will be determined by Council's Environmental Health Officer. Generally a separate room or building is required to comply.
Where a domestic kitchen is approved for use the following conditions also apply:
All food businesses within South Australia are subject to routine food inspections by an Environmental Health Officer. Within the Whyalla Council area these inspections are undertaken on a random unannounced basis and the frequency of the inspections are determined using a risk rating approach. Inspections are subject to a fee of $80+GST for small businesses and $200+GST for large businesses.
The planning department at your local council need to be consulted with to determine whether your food business falls within the definition of a 'home activity' as described in the Development Act 1993.
Where building work is proposed or required, a Development Application will be required to be lodged with Council's Development Services Department, all necessary approvals must be attained from Council's Planning and Building Departments for any construction.
This guideline does not seek to advise on all matters of food safety and hygiene. To avoid non-compliance and associated penalties, it is strongly advised that you consult your Environmental Health Officer prior to starting a home based food business. It is also highly recommended that you read Chapter 3 of the Food Safety Standards which details specific requirements of food businesses in general. Further enquiries can be made by calling 8640 3444 or via email at email@example.com