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Food Safety & Compliance

Food Premises Registration

All food premises are required to be registered with Council.

All food business registration form can be completed and sent to Council outlining the type of business to be registered.

New business operators are encouraged to discuss any new proposals with Council’s Planning & Environmental staff to ensure compliance with the minimum standards of the relevant Food Codes and Regulations before commencing any work.

An inspection of any proposed new premises is also recommended. This is a free service to ensure you are aware of the approval process.

In most cases a new food premises will require the submission of a Development Application for the fit out of the premises. Compliance with AS 4674-2004: design, construction and fit out of food premises will be a condition of any approval. 

Food Safety Supervisor (FSS)

A Food Safety Supervisor (FSS) is a person trained to identify and prevent risks associated with food handling on food premises. They must hold a current (less than 5 years old) Food Safety Supervisor Certificate and not be the designated FSS for more than 1 food premises. An appointed Food Safety Supervisor may be required at times during routine food inspections and must have their FSS certificate on the food premises at all times.

It is a requirement under the Food Act 2003 to have an appointed Food Safety Supervisor in any food business that processes and sells food that is:

Ready-to-eat, and

Potentially Hazardous, and

NOT sold or served in the supplier’s original packaging.

The Food Safety Supervisor requirement does not apply to businesses licensed by the NSW Food Authority.

FSS training will only be recognised if it is delivered by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) that has been approved by the NSW Food Authority and the student has been issued with the distinct Food Safety Supervisor’s green certificate. These organizations are published here on the NSW Food Authority’s website.

Cobar Shire Council’s Planning & Environmental staff can be contacted to discuss further the requirements of a FSS on 02 6836 5888. More information regarding Food Safety Supervisors can also be obtained from NSW Food Authority.

NSW Food Authority have developed a Guideline to Food Safety Supervisor Requirements which will assist with any other enquiries you may have. 

Food Inspections

The NSW Food Authority in consultation with local councils have developed “The Food Regulation Partnership”. Cobar Shire Council undertakes inspections of food businesses in the Cobar Local Government Area (LGA) on behalf of the NSW Food Authority to help safeguard the health of our community and to ensure food businesses comply with NSW food safety requirements.

Inspection frequencies may be annual or half-yearly, depending on the risk rating given to the business.

This rating is determined by the type of food being sold (potentially hazardous), the businesses food safety record, and the preparation activities being performed on the premises.

Food Premises Inspection fees are revised on an annual basis as part of the Council’s Budget, and are set as per Council’s current Fees & Charges.

Cobar Shire Council’s Environmental Health Officers are Authorised Officers under the Food Act 2003. You may obtain information on the powers of Authorized Officers under this Act here.

Food Premises inspections are carried out using the Food Premises Assessment Report (FPAR). A sample of the FPAR checklist can be downloaded here for you to use as a self-assessment and reference document. 

FREE On-line Training: Food Safety

Online training is provided through Environmental Health Australia’s “I’M ALERT Food Safety” interactive program.

Cobar Shire Council has made this program available at no cost to anyone that would like to complete the training. To undertake the course simply click on the link “I’M ALERT Food Safety” to start.

This FREE online training is highly recommened for charity groups, schools, canteens, not for profit groups, those new to food handling and anyone requireing a refresher course for working in a retail food environment. This course is interactive, it has 24 food safety topics to choose from. Dependant on the pace that you choose to work at the training will take approximately 1 hour to complete.

Please Note: This online training does not replace the need for a food business to have a fully trained Food Safety Supervisor. 

Home Based Preparation of Food for Sale

Home based food preparation operations are permitted in some circumstances.

Premises producing low risk food such as cakes, slices, jams and chutneys are usually acceptable as a home based business. High risk food production will require a kitchen which complies with Australian Standard 4674-2004: design, construction and fit out of food premises and the Food Standards Code.

If you are considering operating a home based food business, it is recommended that you contact Council’s Planning and Environmental staff to discuss your proposal and possibly to organise an inspection of the premises to be used as the food business. This is to ensure compliance with the relevant food standards before any food production is permitted.

Following this initial discussion and inspeciton, written and/or verbal advice can be provided to you detailing the next steps in the process, which usually involves submitting a development applicaiton (DA) which will include provision of business operation details, application plan and payment of relevant application fees.

Council’s Food Business at Home Guidelines can provide additional information about what Council requires to operate a food business at home. 

Food Businesses at Markets and Temporary Events

Businesses that sell food at temporary events such as fairs, festival, markets, shows and similar retail food outlets are considered retail food businesses as they sell food to the public, and need to meet a range of requirements.

As of 1 September 2015, food businesses operating at temporary events need to notify their local council of their business and food activity details. Council has a responsibility to ensure that any food intended for retail consumption needs to be prepared and processed in a safe and legally compliant facility/and or environment.

Council’s ‘Temporary Food Business Notification Form’ can be found under the Planning and Compliance tab here. If you are intending to operate a food stall at any market or temporary event this will need to be completed and lodged with Council at least fourteen (14) days prior to the event. As it is an offence under Section 100 of the Food Act 2003 to operate a food business without prior notification to Council, food businesses that are not registered with Council will not be permitted to trade at any market or temporary event.

A food business that has notified Council of its food business will be issued with a ‘Certificate of Registration for Temporary Food Event’. This certificate should be displayed in a prominent location at the food business/stall. If a food business cannot produce such certificate, it is presumed that they have not notified Council of its food business and should not be operating.

The NSW Food Authority’s ‘Guidelines for Food Businesses at Temporary Events’ and Council’s developed ‘Temporary Food Premises Code’ are Cobar Shire Council’s adopted reference standards and will provide information about what Council requires to operate a food business at a temporary event. It is expected that food businesses operating at any temporary event adhere to the Code which is available under the tab M-Z here

Food Related Complaints and Enquiries

Cobar Shire Council’s Environmental & Planning staff are available to help with any food safety and compliance enquiries you may have. They can be contacted on 02 6836 5888, or you can meet with Council Staff at the Council Administration Building at 36 Linsley Street, Monday to Friday, during business hours.

Watch video to get useful information regarding the causes, symptoms and onset times of food poisoning:

Should you wish to make a food safety complaint to Cobar Shire Council please feel free to contact Council’s Planning & Environmental staff. Please note that Council’s Environmental & Planning staff investigate complaints regarding hygiene, storage and handling, cleanliness, pest control and temperature control of food. Complaints may be made using Council’s Food Safety Complaint Form which is available under the Planning and Compliance tab here.

Food Borne Illnesses (FBI) should be reported to Cobar Shire Council on 02 6836 5888 or to the NSW Food Authority at the following:

Phone: 1300 552 406 (free call)
Website: www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au

Cobar Shire Council works with the NSW Food Authority to help ensure that food sold to NSW consumers is safe and correctly labled. We welcome your complaints as they help us to better understand your concerns as well as rasie Council’s awareness of its responsiblitly for the wellbeing of all consumers

If you think you are suffering from a Food Borne Illness please contact your doctor or report to the Emergency Department of your local Hospital immediately. 

Compliance with NSW Legislative Requirements

All food businesses need to meet the NSW legislative requirements. A food business must comply with the following NSW legislative requirements:

  • NSW Food Act 2003;
  • Food Regulation 2010;
  • Food Standards Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code;
  • Australian Standard: Design, Construction and Fit Out of Food Premises AS 4674-2004. 

More Resources

For your information and convenience we have provided links to useful fact sheets, provided by NSW Food Authority on common food safety issues. 

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