Food Businesses

All food retailers are required to register with us and comply with certain legislation and codes.

Make an enquiry about food business

Food businesses are defined under the NSW Food Act 2003.

The definition includes any business, enterprise or activity of a commercial, charitable or community nature involving the handling or sale of food.

This includes single-occasion events.

All retail food businesses must notify us and register their intention to trade.

Notification is required for:

  • All new food businesses
  • All new food business owners
  • Any change to the food business’ details

New owners should ensure they have appropriate development consent to operate a food business.

If your shop was previously approved for use as a food business, then the consent still applies. If not, a development application is required for the change of use and for any building alterations.

Any mechanical exhaust ventilation system or non-structural internal alterations to an existing food business or a new food business covered by a previous consent can be undertaken as a complying development.

The NSW Food Authority Guidelines for Starting a Business may also help.

Register your business

All food premises must be designed, constructed and operated in accordance with:

A Trade Waste Agreement and approval may also be required for your food business. For example, if you have a grease trap. For more information, contact Sydney Water.

A Food Safety Supervisor (FSS) is required under the Food Act when food premises prepare and sell food that is:

  • Ready to eat
  • Potentially hazardous
  • Not sold and served in the supplier’s original packaging.

Most restaurants, cafes, takeaway shops, bakeries, pubs, clubs and caterers require a FSS. Each outlet requires a separate FSS.

The FSS must ensure food safety practices are carried out, so they must be at the shop on a regular basis.

The FSS must obtain a Food Safety Supervisor Certificate from a registered training organisation.

If the FSS leaves the business, the business owner must appoint a new FSS within 30 days and provide their details (name, phone number and FSS Certificate number) to us.

Even after a FSS is appointed, the business owner is still responsible for food safety.

More information regarding the FSS is available from the NSW Food Authority.

Our Environmental Health Officers carry out unannounced inspections of all registered food premises at least once a year.

A fee is charged for this inspection.

Additional inspections will be carried out if compliance is not achieved or when an issue is reported to Council or the NSW Food Authority.

Routine inspections are also conducted on temporary and home-based food businesses.

Temporary food stalls may only operate at events that have an existing development consent or our approval that includes the sale of food.

The construction, stall design and layout must comply with the NSW Food Authority’s guidelines.

For more information

We investigate complaints relating to food businesses including food poisoning, health, hygiene and food handling.

Report a Food Complaint

Find out more from NSW Food Authority.