Food premises and food events

Businesses in Victoria that sell food to the public must register with their local council. 

What we do

What do environmental health officers do? 

Our Public Health Team makes sure food premises within the shire are selling food that is safe for public consumption. We do this by: 

  • registering all premises selling food to the public in accordance with the requirements of the Food Act 1984 
  • conducting regular inspections of food premises to ensure they comply with the current Food Safety Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)
  • educating proprietors and the public on how to prevent the consumption of contaminated food and drink
  • investigating any food safety concerns from the public

Who has to register?

Premises that require a registration with council

  • businesses operating a fixed food premises (including accommodation premises serving food)
  • those selling food that are operating from home, storing or preparing food in a domestic home kitchen
  • temporary or mobile food businesses
  • a community group or not for profit body wishing to sell food

The registration period for all food premises is 1 January to 31 December annually. We notify you toward the end of each year that your food premises registration is due for renewal. All fees must be paid by 31 December or trade cannot continue. 


If you need assistance with starting, running or growing your business, please visit our Business Enabling webpage.

If you are ready to apply for a new permit, please visit The Process for Obtaining a New Permit to start your business application process.

Food registration 

If you want to sell food to the public, you need to register with, or notify, your local council.

We will assist you to obtain the appropriate food registration for the type of business or operation you are running.

Our environmental health officers will help you to understand and comply with your obligations, including the Food Act 1984 and the Food Standards Code. We can assist you if you are starting a new food business or buying an existing food business.  Please contact our Public Health Team team on 03 5358 8700.

There are various types of food operations:

  • fixed food businesses (restaurants, cafes, aged care facilities, food factories, home businesses)
  • temporary or mobile (operating from a marquee, setting up at an event in a hall, or a cart, vehicle or trailer)
  • water carter
  • food vending machine

The class of a food premises is determined by the type of food it prepares and the scale of production.  Some of these classification are pre determined but our environmental health officers will assist businesses to finalise the registration class.

High risk foods

High risk food is food that contains bacteria that can cause food poisoning if not handled correctly. This includes storage, preparation, cooking and temperature control.

Low risk foods

If you are selling low risk foods, such as packaged goods, you will simply have to notify us.  This can be done for fixed food businesses.  If you are a temporary or mobile food premises you can apply to notify through Foodtrader.

Temporary and mobile food premises

What is Foodtrader

In Victoria, all food premises are required to have a Food Act registration from their local council before selling food. This includes fixed premises, such as cafes and restaurants – but also temporary and mobile food premises such as a market stall or a food van.

Foodtrader is the online system for businesses and community groups to register with, and notify, council of their temporary and mobile food premises. 

Foodtrader allows businesses and community groups to:

  • apply for a Food Act registration with their registering council
  • manage their registration
  • lodge statements of trade for each of their events

Foodtrader is also the registration system for water carter and vending machine businesses trading in Victoria. 

What is a temporary food premises?

A temporary food premises is a structure that is not permanently fixed to a site. This includes things such as tents, stalls or a marquees. Common examples include market stalls or sausage sizzle stalls.

This also includes the temporary use of a kitchen not owned or leased by the food business. So for example, if you are cooking cakes out of a hired kitchen to sell later, you need to register your use of this kitchen as a temporary food premises. 

What is a mobile food premises?

A mobile food premises is a food premises that is a vehicle. This can include food vans, caravans or trucks, coffee vans or trailers. 

If this sounds like the type of information you require, follow the link to Foodtrader for further details and registration.

Community groups

Community groups often hold fundraising activities that involve the sale of food. These activities require a Food Act registration. 

Common examples of groups that register with us using Foodtrader include:

  • community groups conducting sausage sizzles or cake stalls
  • community groups selling food at markets or festivals
  • community groups cooking and selling food from a food truck or trailer
  • schools holding fetes or festivals

For information and resources regarding community groups go to the Foodtrader website 

If you are a community group that is giving away food for charitable causes, or only asking for a voluntary donation (gold coin donation), you are not required to be registered.

Food classifications

Council is responsible for the classification of every food premise according to its food safety risk.

Class one 

Class one food premises are those that predominantly handle potentially hazardous food that is served to vulnerable groups, such as:

  • hospitals
  • child care centres or long day care providers
  • aged care facilities such as nursing homes and hostels

Class two

Class two food premises are those whose main activity is handling unpackaged, potentially hazardous foods which need correct temperature control during the food handling process, including cooking and storage, to keep them safe. This includes:

  • restaurants
  • fast food outlets
  • pubs
  • caterers
  • delicatessens
  • supermarkets with delicatessens
  • cafes
  • most manufacturers

Class three A

Class 3A is a new class for businesses that

  • prepare or cook potentially hazardous foods for immediate consumption at an accommodation getaway premises eg B&B or
  • prepare food using a hot-fill process such as chutney, relish, salsa, tomato sauce that is made in a home based or temporary hired kitchen, has been heated to at least 85oC for hot-filling and sealing, is acidic (pH less than 4.6) and contains salt or sugar or other preservative.

Class three

Class three food premises are those whose main activities involve the sale of foods not commonly associated with food poisoning. This includes the supply or handling of unpackaged low risk foods, or sale of pre-packaged potentially hazardous foods which simply need refrigeration to keep them safe.

Premises expected to fall into class three include:

  • milk bars
  • convenience stores
  • fruit stalls selling cut fruit
  • wholesalers distributing pre-packaged foods

Class four

Class four food premises are those whose food handling activities pose low risk to public health. They include premises that only undertake the following:

  • the sale of shelf stable pre-packaged confectionery at newsagents, pharmacies and video stores
  • bottle shops
  • sale of uncut fruit and vegetables at farmers markets or by greengrocers (whether retail or wholesale)
  • wine tastings
  • shops and stalls with packaged cakes (excluding cream cakes)
  • bottled jams or honey
  • sessional kindergartens serving low risk food including cut fruit
  • simple sausage sizzles at stalls, where the sausages are cooked and served immediately (this means sausages, sauce, onions and bread - it does not include hamburgers or other high risk foods)

If you are unsure of the classification your business would fall into, you can use the classification information on the Victoria Health website or contact our Public Health Team on 03 5358 8700.

Food safety is everyone's responsibility

Incorrect food handling practices can lead to illnesses. In extreme cases, they may even result in the death of vulnerable people, including the elderly, infants, or the chronically ill.

The Department of Health and Human Services, in particular Food Safety Victoria, has general oversight of the administration of the Food Act 1984, but we share this responsibility.

Our public health team provides advice on safe food handling for all areas of our community, including businesses, charities, sporting, church and community groups, as well as individuals.

We also have regulatory obligations for any business or community group selling food to the public. If you operate a food business, safe food handling practices ensure your business remains viable.

In the home, safe food handling ensures our families and friends enjoy their food without illness.

Personal hygiene is essential for people working with food at home or at work. 

At home and in the community

There are a few simple ways you can help ensure the food you buy and take home for yourself, your family or friends remains safe.

Food Safety Victoria website has helpful information.

If you are a charity, community, sporting, church or other not-for-profit group selling food to the public there are requirements that must be met. 

Learn more about temporary and mobile food premises registration.

Information on food safety is also available on the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Food businesses responsibilities

Food safety supervisor

Everyone who works in a food business, including the proprietor, is responsible for the delivery of safe food to their customers.

Class one, and most class two, premises must have a food safety supervisor.

A food safety supervisor must have the minimum competencies for the food sector they work in and have a statement of attainment before they can work as a food safety supervisor in their sector.

Training courses are provided by registered training organisations.

For further information go to food safety supervisors qualifications information.

Food safety program

In Victoria, all class one and some high-risk class two food premises need a food safety program

A food safety program is a written plan that shows what a business does to ensure the food it sells is safe for people to eat. It is an important tool to help businesses handle, process or sell potentially hazardous foods. This is necessary to maintain safe food handling practices and protect public health.

If your business does not require a Food Safety Program, it is still your responsibility to keep food safe for consumers. If you do require a Food Safety Program you can use a template or have one specifically written for your business.

For further information and template examples, go to Food Safety Victoria.

Food business - trade waste

All food businesses will have wastewater as a result of their operations that is not ordinary domestic wastewater. 

It is liquid waste and usually contains substances such as chemicals, grease, oil and solids. This is referred to as trade waste.

Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water (GWMWater) is responsible for this waste water and supports this part of food businesses procedures.

You should be fully aware of your obligations in relation to your trade waste and GWMWater Trade Waste page has the information you will need.

If you discharge trade waste you will need to have a trade waste agreement with GWMWater.

Information regarding BYO containers

Food safety regulations in Victoria do not prohibit a food business from serving food or drink in a container provided by a customer.

If registered food premises choose not to use a customer's containers then that is a business decision, not a requirement of legislation.

In making this decision, businesses may consider the quality of the container and the likelihood of it being able to taint or compromise the chemical/bacterial quality of the food they are supplying.

It would be reasonable for a business to assess the cleanliness and condition of the container before putting food in it.