Food Business Safety and Approvals

Overview of requirements

The Shire of Harvey is responsible for monitoring and enforcing the requirements of the Food Act 2018 and Food Standards Code with the aim of preventing food borne illness in our community. 

The Shire’s Environmental Health Officers will visit food businesses to assess how the standards are being implemented.

If you would like to open a new food business (residential, commercial or mobile), there are several steps you will need to do first, to ensure you have the right approvals in place, including:

  • Planning approval
  • Building permit
  • Certificate of food business registration.

Start a new food premise or renovate an existing one

To start a new food business or renovate an existing one, please follow these steps:

  1. First, contact us to discuss your proposal
  2. Complete the Food Act 2008 Notification/Registration Form (see below) and submit it for assessment with your proposal and plans
  3. Undertake your construction/alterations to your premises
  4. Contact us to arrange a final assessment with one of our Environmental Health Officers
  5. The Environmental Health Officers will determine the correct food safety risk category for your new business. This risk classification will determine the inspection frequency and annual fee.
  6. A Certificate of Food Business Registration will be issued upon final processing of your application.

There is an annual assessment fee applied for twelve months.

It is your responsibility to inform the Shire of any changes to your food business details, including change of ownership, change of premises, change of the original proposal and closing of the business.

Home-based food business

For public safety home-based food businesses require approval from the Shire.

Other than the preparation of food for guests using farm stay or home stay accommodation, the Department of Health WA has advised that only ‘low risk’ foods may be approved for preparation in residential kitchens.

Low risk activities include the production of:

  • Jams and marmalades
  • Flour-based products such as biscuits, shortbread, scones, buns, muffins and cakes which do not contain potentially hazardous foods such as cream or custards
  • Nougats, fudges, meringues, Turkish delights
  • Spices and spice mixes including dry curry powders if ingredients are purchased from an approved food business
  • Pickled onions
  • Herb vinegars with a pH of less than 4.5
  • Chutneys, relishes and sauces that are heat treated by boiling or cooking
  • Food activities such as cake decorating, repacking of bulk packaged low risk confectionery products.

To find out about requirements refer to the information sheet below.

Temporary food stalls

Food stalls wishing to operate within the Shire, separate to an approved event or market, must apply for approval. Complete and submit the form below.

Temporary food stall holders wishing to trade at approved events or markets within the Shire must:

  • Contact the event organiser to confirm that they will permit you to trade at their event/market.
  • Whether your food business is registered with the Shire or another local government, you must hold a current Food Act 2008 Certificate of Registration issued by that municipality.
  • Contact the event organiser to ensure you provide them with the required documentation, usually Certificate of Registration, public liability insurance certificate and in some cases a floor plan of your stall.

Important note: Markets and events are regularly inspected by Environmental Health Officers who will check for compliance.

Food labelling

All food businesses should be familiar with labelling requirements. Refer to the Food Standards food labelling guidance for information on the requirements for compliant labels.

Free food safety training

It is a legal responsibility that all food business operators ensure that staff working within their business have adequate skills and knowledge in relation to the tasks they are undertaking. This is an important tool in ensuring safe food and the Shire’s Environmental Health Officers actively enforce this requirement.

I’M ALERT – a free online food safety course, has been developed by qualified and experienced environmental health professionals.

The program is easy to follow, includes an entertaining presentation as well as interactive quizzes.

A training acknowledgement form can be printed upon completion and be kept as a part of your records.

Food safety for community groups

Sausage sizzle and barbecues are a popular way to raise money for charities and community organisations.

All food handlers are encouraged to complete the I’M Alert Free online safety course (see above).

Below are some recommendations to try to ensure food for sale at sausage sizzles is safe.

Food preparation and storage

  • Prepare food before leaving for the event eg. cutting and separating sausages, chopping onions
  • Ensure the esky or portable fridge has enough space for all of the meat and that the meat is surrounded by ice bricks during transport and the event.
  • Store sausages at 5 degrees or below
  • Store drinks for sale in separate eskies to avoid cross contamination and they are open frequently
  • Use separate tongs and gloves when handling raw and cooked sausages
  • Never place cooked sausages back on the trays that held the raw ones
  • Cover all food to protect it from contamination and store food in clean food storage containers or plastic bags.

Handwashing

  • Hands must be washed regularly. If water cannot be provided, alternatives such as hand cleaning creams or gels, sanitizing wipes can be used.
  • Hands must be washed or gloves changed after handling raw meat, money, drinks, cleaning equipment, rubbish and before handling the ready to eat sausages and buns.
  • It is suggested that one person does the cooking, one person handles the drinks and money and one person assembles the food for customers.

More information and contacts

For more information on food safety and food business approvals, please contact us.

Related legislation

Related pages