A priority of The Shire of Esperance Health Services is to ensure that safe food is sold from food businesses. The Shire closely monitors all food businesses and requires them to comply with the Food Act 2008, Food Regulations 2009 and Australia New Zealand Food Code.
To find out more about any food related topics, please use the menu below.
- Starting a New Food Business
Businesses wishing to sell or handle food must be registered as a food business in the Shire of Esperance.
Before any application for registration is submitted to the Shire, please ensure that you have the necessary planning and building approvals. The Shire of Esperance’s Fit Out Guide for the Construction and Operation of Food Premises will provide you assistance to prepare your application.
To register your food business in the Shire of Esperance you are required to submit the following items to the Shire:
- A completed Food Act Notification Registration Form;
- Application to Fit Out;
- Other items listed in the Fit Out Guide for the Construction and Operation of Food Premises; and
- Applicable fees.
- Buying an Existing Food Business
If you are purchasing an existing food business, a transfer of ownership form is to be submitted with applicable fees upon closing the business or prior to settlement and to advise of any changes to the menu and operators. If you are planning to make changes to the building, ensure you obtain approvals first as these changes might require, planning, building and health approvals.
Once the form is completed, health services will conduct an inspection and you will be issued with a certificate of registration which needs to be displayed in the food premises. Food safety training certificates will also need to be provided for new staff.
- Exempted Food Businesses
The Food Act 2008 provides for certain types of food businesses to be exempt from the requirements of registration.
These types of businesses are set out in the Food Regulations 2009 and are businesses that:
- Are conducted solely for charitable or community purposes and prepare non-potentially hazardous food or food that, after being appropriately cooked, is served for immediate consumption;
- Sell certain packaged food;
- Provide complimentary drinks in conjunction with another kind of business;
- Business involved in the primary production and sale fruits and vegetable (unprocessed); and
- Form part of premises registered under the Commonwealth Export Control Act 1982.
While exempted these food businesses are not subject to the same registration requirements, they must still notify as opposed to register the Shire of their intention to undertake food business activities prior to doing so, and provide the Shire with the following:
- A completed Food Act Notification Registration Form Act or a Temporary Food Permit application form (for charitable or community groups and commercial businesses operating at one event); and
- Applicable fees.
- Food Safety Training
It is a requirement that all food handlers demonstrate their skills and knowledge appropriate to the level of food handling that they are employed to carry out.
- The “I’m Alert” Food Safety Program is available free of charge through the Shire of Esperance. This is a self-paced online learning tool that food business operators can use to train their staff to minimum compliance in hygiene standards. A copy of training certificate will be required to be lodged for each food handler at time of lodging your application.
- FoodSafe is another form of training designed to provide the food premises proprietor with an effective low cost, food safety programme. The package provides the proprietor with the importance of correct food handling and record keeping practices. FoodSafe training can be undertaken conveniently in the home or at work, without having to attend lengthy courses. The following languages are available: Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Malay and Thai. Training packages are available for purchase from the Shire's Health Services or the Australian Institute of Environmental Health.
- Temporary Food Stalls
Temporary food stall holders wishing to trade at approved events or markets within the Shire of Esperance require approval from Environmental Health Services. The process for gaining approval for your temporary food stall is as below:
- Contact the event organiser to confirm that they will permit you to trade at their event / market;
- If you are a community group, submit a Temporary Food Permit application form;
- If your van or stall food business is already a registered food business with the Shire of Esperance you do not need further approval, however the event organiser may have other requirements, for example, public liability insurance;
- If you are an approved food business in Esperance wishing to trade at another location than your approved location, you will need to submit a Temporary Food Permit application for the event;
- If your food business is registered in another local government, please complete the a Temporary Food Permit application and pay the applicable fee;
- If you are not registered as a food business, please see the section above entitled "Starting a New Food Business";
- If you want to sell unprocessed fruits and vegetables you only need to notify the Shire, please see the following information sheet outlining minimum standard requirements.
All temporary food stalls are required to conform with the following standards set out in the Food Act 2008. Markets and events are regularly inspected by Environmental Health Officers who will check for compliance with these minimum standards.
- Disposable eating and drinking utensils are to be used;
- All food and food containers are to be stored above the ground;
- A physical barrier is to be provided by means of sneeze guards;
- All condiments (sauce, mustard, etc) are to be contained in individual sealed packs or squeeze-type dispensers;
- All disposable eating utensils are to be pre-wrapped in paper napkins or cellophane bags;
- Drinking straws, paper cups, spoons etc are to be either enclosed in suitable dispensers or protected from contamination; and
- Tables / trestles are to be covered with clean cloths or paper.
- All cooking appliances are to be located within the stall and protected from contamination, and are not be within reach of the public;
- Food is to be protected from contamination at all times and must not be displayed outside the stall;
- The cooking area is to be kept free of dust-borne contamination and droplet infection (coughing / sneezing by the public);
- A fire extinguisher is to be provided in every stall where open flame cooking occurs;
- The stall walls are to be protected from heat, flame and splashing where cooking occurs; and
- Raw food is to be kept separate from cooked food.
Food Temperature Control
- All take-away food prepared at the stall is to be for immediate sale and consumption, or displayed in a suitable food warmer or food display which maintains the food at a temperature of at least 60ºC (hot food) or below 5ºC (cold food), or otherwise in accordance with the Food Act 2008;
- Pre-prepared food products or pre-cooked food which promotes bacterial growth must be stored under refrigerated conditions (below 5ºC) or otherwise in accordance with the Food Act 2008; and
- All raw foods and perishable foods must be stored under refrigerated conditions (below 5ºC) or otherwise in accordance with the Food Act 2008.
An awning or fire retardant marquee is to be provided for the food preparation area to reduce dust / insect contamination. Unsealed ground is to be covered with a suitable impervious material.
Separate facilities are required for hand washing and utensil washing. A supply of hot and cold water must be available to the food stall. Disposal of all wastes must be to Shire's satisfaction. Liquid soap and disposable hand towels are to be provided at each stall.
Refuse receptacles with lids are to be provided in and near each stall. The refuse receptacles are to be emptied on a regular basis throughout the day. The refuse bins and surrounding area is to be kept clean at all times.
- Mobile Food Businesses
- Mobile food operators are expected to meet the standards of the Australia New Zealand Food Code which are applied to fixed premises. The application, approval and registration process is the same as for any new food business. See section Starting a new food business on our website for approval process.
The Shire's Guidelines for Operators of Mobile Food Businesses provides further information on the fit out and operation of a mobile food business.
The Shire provides six leasable areas to operate mobile food businesses or other commercial trading activities. These leases are placed in locations that are a suitable distance from other established premises, and trading outside of these areas is generally prohibited on Local Government land.
Registered mobile food businesses can operate at approved events across the Shire, or on private property in conjunction with an existing business. Please note that any trading on private property will require planning approval.
It is important that a suitable location is confirmed prior to registering a mobile food business.
- Home-Based Food Businesses
If you are interested in operating a food business from your residential kitchen, you will need to first check that you have the correct planning approval. Please phone the Shire and ask to speak to a Planning Officer. Once you have confirmation that you will not need planning approval or you have already received approval, follow the steps in the link Starting a New Food Business. The Shire of Esperance has also produced a fact sheet - Food Preparation in Residential Premises Fact Sheet - which provides information regarding the requirements and minimum standards for operating a food business from a residential kitchen.
Your application will also be assessed in line with Department of Health guidelines.
- Food Labelling
All food businesses are encouraged to become familiar with labelling requirements. The guidelines to labelling requirements for food businesses are a summary of the basic requirements for compliant labels, and these guidelines also provide information regarding foods which may be exempt from bearing a label. The purpose of these guidelines is to assist you with meeting labelling requirements under the Food Standards Code. In most circumstances packaged foods for retail sale are required to bear a label however there are some exceptions.
General Labelling Requirements - What Must Appear?
To find a guide for correct food labelling procedures please follow the steps provided in the link Guideline to Labelling Requirements for Food
- Free Allergy Awareness Resources for Businesses
The Shire of Esperance has included a collection of resources in order to assist food businesses to become more allergy aware, and to meet their obligations under the Food Act 2008 and the Food Standards Code.
These resources are:
More fact sheets for food businesses are available from the Department of Health website.
For additional information or assistance contact Environmental Health Services on (08) 9071 0676, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call into the Shire Administration Centre on Windich Street.