Food Safety

  • If you conduct a business that prepares or handles food for sale to the public, you may require a licence under the QLD Food Act 2006. Licensable food businesses are required to follow regulations as prescribed in the legislation and Food Standards Code, to ensure only safe food is provided for sale. There are significant penalties for operating a licensable food business without a food licence.

    The below matrix outlines when a ‘Food Licence’ is required:

    Food Licence required if... Yes No
    Only sell hot coffee, hot tea, water*, softdrinks   X
    Sell packaged snack food   X
    Sell freshly prepared juices X  
    Manufacture cakes, biscuits, bread, confectionery or snack foods* X X - if selling unpackaged low risk snack food purchased from a licenced manufacturer.
    Repack spices, tea, confectionery, snack food** X - for retail distribution X - if packaged at the place of retail
    Run a mobile food van X X - if only selling pre-packaged, not potentially hazardous & labelled food
    Run a restaurant, cafe or takeaway outlet X  
    Run a bakery X  
    Have a home-based food business X  
    Run a catering business X  
    Run a market stall or temporary food stall X  
    Roast coffee X  

    *Water carriers selling potable water by retail and manufacturers of bottled water are required to have a food business licence. The sale of bottled water and water by the glass does not require a food business licence.

    **Snack food is defined as any of the following food that is not potentially hazardous, a) biscuits or cakes; b) confectionery, corn chips, potato chips or nuts; c) dried or glazed fruit; d) other food prescribed under a regulation.

    All licensable food businesses including fixed premises, mobile premises and temporary premises are required to be licensed by Council. If you wish to operate a licensable food business in the Whitsunday Region you are required to obtain a licence from Council. The following information will assist you in ensuring your application is complete and that you have considered everything that is required to apply for a food business licence.

    Establishing a food business premises whether in a new or existing building requires compliance with a range of legislation. An application may be needed for each of the areas listed below depending on the nature of the food business. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all these areas have been investigated. 

    • Planning Approval
    • Building Approval
    • Trade Waste Permit
    • Plumbing and Drainage Permit
    • Food Business Licence Application

    The food business may also require approval for:

    • Footpath Dining
    • Portable/Advertising Sign
    • Roadside Vending

    Types of Licences:

    • Fixed premises
    • Mobile food vans
    • Temporary food premises
    • Home-based food businesses
    • Charter vessels
    • Water Carriers

    All licensed food businesses are required to have a qualified Food Safety Supervisor. The nominated Food Safety Supervisor must have completed food safety training from a Registered Training Organisation. 

    Certain licensed food businesses are also required to have an accredited Food Safety Program (e.g. childcare centres, nursing homes, off-site catering).

  • How to apply for a food licence image

     

    Please click the below links for application guides, forms and fact sheets:

    Prior to the purchase of an existing food business it is recommended you request a Health Search to be carried out. This is where an Environmental Health Officer can perform a desktop audit of previous inspections and licensing records or conduct a physical inspection to identify any compliance issues. These issues will then be provided for your attention to you in a report. See Search Request Form attached.

    Step one

    1. Check with our Town Planning Services to determine if a food business is a permitted use in the area. 

    Step two

    1. Complete Food Licence Application Form and submit to a Customer Service Centre or via email to info@whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au.

    Step three

    1. Check with the relevant department if approval is required.  
      1. Plumbing Services 
      2. Trade waste Department 
      3. Building Department or Private Certifier

    Step four

    1. An Environmental Health Officer will assess your application against the Food Standards Code and contact you if any further information is required. 
    2. Once assessed, you will receive a plan approval letter that details the conditions of approval for your proposed food premises. 
    3. Once approved you can start your construction/refit. Starting fit out prior to obtaining plan approval can often lead to frustration when plans must be changed to meet the requirements of the code. 

    Step five

    1. After the construction, please contact an Environmental Health Officer to arrange the final inspection. To avoid delays to your opening date, please allow a minimum of 5 days notice for the final inspection. 
    2. If the Environmental Health Officer is satisfied with the premises, the Environmental Health Officer will issue your food licence. 

    Step six

    1. Congratulations – you can commence trading in your new food business. Our Environmental Health Officer’s will conduct regular unannounced inspections of your food business to check compliance with the food standards code. 

    Forms and Facts Sheets:

  • Prior to the purchase of an existing food business it is recommended you request a Health Search to be carried out. This is where an Environmental Health Officer can perform a desktop audit of previous inspections and licensing records or conduct a physical inspection to identify any compliance issues. These issues will then be provided for your attention to you in a report. See Search Request Form attached.

    Step one

    1. Complete Food Licence Application Form. Submit to Council either via a Customer Service Centre or email to info@whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au.
    2. Check with our Local Law Department regarding obtaining a roadside vending permit if you wish to vend on Council land.

    Step two

    1. An Environmental Health Officer will assess your application against the Food Standards Code and contact you if any further information is required.
    2. Once assessed, you will receive a plan approval letter that details the conditions of approval for your proposed food premises.

    Step three

    1. Please contact an Environmental Health Officer to arrange the final inspection. To avoid delays to your opening date, please allow a minimum of 5 days notice for the final inspection.

    Step four

    1. An Environmental Health Officer will conduct a final inspection of your mobile vehicle. If the Environmental Health Officer is satisfied with the premises, the Environmental Health Officer will issue your food licence.

    Step five

    1. Congratulations – you can commence trading in your new food business. Our Environmental Health Officer’s will conduct regular unannounced inspections of your food business to check compliance with the Food Act 2006 and the Food Standards Code.

    Forms and Facts Sheets:

  • Step one 

    1. Complete all sections for a temporary/market stall in the Food Licence Application Form. Submit to Council either via a Customer Service Centre or email to info@whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au.  

    Step two 

    1. An Environmental Health Officer will assess your application against the Food Standards Code and contact you if any further information is required. 
    2. Once assessed, you will receive a plan approval letter that details the conditions of approval for your proposed food premises. 

    Step three 

    1. Please contact an Environmental Health Officer to arrange the final inspection. To avoid delays to your opening date, please allow a minimum of 5 days notice for the final inspection. 

    Step four 

    1. An Environmental Health Officer will conduct a final inspection of your food stall. If the Environmental Health Officer is satisfied with the premises, your food licence will be issued. 

    Step five 

    1. Congratulations – you can commence trading in your new food business. Our Environmental Health Officer’s will conduct regular unannounced inspections of your food business to check compliance with the food standards code. 

    Forms and Facts Sheets:

  • Step one

    1. Check with our Town Planning Services to determine if a food business is a permitted use in the area.

    Step two

    1. Check with our Trade Waste Officer to determine if a trade waste approval is required for disposal of wastewater to our sewerage network. 
    2. Complete Food Licence Application Form and complete all sections for fixed (new or refit). Please submit application form to one of our Customer Service Centre’s or via email to info@whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au.

    Step three

    1. An Environmental Health Officer will assess your application against the Food Standards Code and contact you if any further information is required.
    2. Once assessed, you will receive a plan approval letter that details the conditions of approval for your proposed food premises.
    3. Once approved you can start any alterations identified.

    Step four

    1. Please contact an Environmental Health Officer to arrange the final inspection when the kitchen is ready. To avoid delays to your opening/starting date, please allow a minimum of 5 days notice for the final inspection.

    Step five

    1. An Environmental Health Officer will conduct a final inspection of the premises. If the Environmental Health Officer is satisfied with the premises, the Environmental Health Officer will issue your food licence.

    Step six

    1. Congratulations – you can commence trading in your new food business. Our Environmental Health Officer’s will conduct regular inspections of your food business to check compliance with the food standards code.

    Forms and Facts Sheets:

  • Step one

    1. Complete Food Licence Application Form. Submit to Council either via a Customer Service Centre or email to info@whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au.

    Step two

    1. An Environmental Health Officer will assess your application against the Food Standards Code and contact you if any further information is required.
    2. Once assessed, you will receive a plan approval letter that details the conditions of approval for your proposed food premises.

    Step three

    1. Please contact an Environmental Health Officer to arrange the final inspection. To avoid delays to your operating date, please allow a minimum of 5 days notice for the final inspection.

    Step four

    1. An Environmental Health Officer will conduct a final inspection of your water carrier. If the Environmental Health Officer is satisfied with the premises, the Environmental Health Officer will issue your food licence.

    Step five

    1. Congratulations – you can commence trading in your new food business. Our Environmental Health Officer’s will conduct regular unannounced inspections of your food business to check compliance with the Food Act 2006 and the Food Standards Code.

    Forms and Facts Sheets:

  • Prior to the purchase of an existing food business it is recommended you request a Health Search to be carried out. This is where an Environmental Health Officer can perform a desktop audit of previous inspections and licensing records or conduct a physical inspection to identify any compliance issues. These issues will then be provided for your attention to you in a report. See Search Request Form attached.

    Step one

    1. Complete all sections for mobile in the Food Licence Application Form, ensure appropriate plans are attached. Submit to Council either via a Customer Service Centre or email to info@whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au

    Step two

    1. An Environmental Health Officer will assess your application against the Food Standards Code and contact you if any further information is required.
    2. Once assessed, you will receive a plan approval letter that details the conditions of approval for your proposed food premises.

    Step three

    1. Please contact an Environmental Health Officer to arrange the final inspection. To avoid delays to your operating date, please allow a minimum of 5 days notice for the final inspection.

    Step four

    1. An Environmental Health Officer will conduct a final inspection of your charter vessel. If the Environmental Health Officer is satisfied with the premises, the Environmental Health Officer will issue your food licence.

    Step five

    1. Congratulations – you can commence trading in your new food business. Our Environmental Health Officer’s will conduct regular unannounced inspections of your food business to check compliance with the food standards code.

    Forms and Facts Sheets:

  • Food businesses that provide food to vulnerable (i.e. child care centres, aged car facilities, etc.) or undertake on-site or offsite catering as per section 17 and 18 of the Food Act 2006 are required to have an accredited Food Safety Program (FSP). For more information regarding if your business requires an FSP please see these factsheets: FSP for caterers and FSP for vulnerable persons.

    Step One

    1. Complete all sections applicable for Accreditation of a Food Safety Program in the Food Licence Application Form and submit to Council. Ensure the Food Safety Program and Auditors Written Advice are submitted with the application.

    Step Two

    1. An Environmental Health Officer will assess your FSP to ensure it covers all aspects of your food business. If any information is missing or incorrect the Environmental Health Officer will request for sections of the program to be amended.
    2. Once the FSP has been assessed and the Environmental Health Officer is satisfied with it they will accredit the program.
    3. The accredited program will be sent back to you for your records. If you are a new food business the accredited program is provided when your food licence is issued.

    Step Three

    1. Once the program is accredited you (the licensee) must comply with the program whilst operating the food business.
    2. A copy of the accredited FSP must be kept at the food business premises and be available for employees to use.
    3. Compliance audits by a third-party auditor must be undertaken at the frequency specified by Council. Under the Act the first compliance audit is required within six months of accreditation of the food safety program.

FREE Online Food Safety Training

We take food hygiene within our region very seriously. All food businesses have obligations and we are assisting food businesses to meet these obligations by providing free access to this exciting new training tool. 

There is a high demand for training within the food sector. This training will assist food handlers in developing the required skills and knowledge to ensure food is handled in a safe and hygienic manner. 

The program is easy to follow, includes an entertaining presentation as well as interactive quizzes and the ability to view Chinese text and captions. A training acknowledgement form can be printed upon completion and be kept as a part of your staff records. 

To complete your free online food safety training, please visit www.whitsunday.imalert.com.au.

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