Learn about all the laws governing businesses in the ACT that sell and produce food, how to comply with these laws, and the serious consequences if you don't.

ACT food safety legislation

As a food business owner or manager, you need to be sure you comply with:
  • Federal government food safety laws
  • ACT government food safety laws
  • Local council legislation
If you don't comply, you risk being fined, prosecuted, or even having your business closed down.Below, you'll find information on:
  • all government requirements
  • how to comply
  • what happens if you don't comply
  • who needs to do a Food Safety Supervisor Course
  • other compliance information
ACT food safety legislation

ACT territory laws and requirements

ACT LegislationIn the Australian Capital Territory, food safety requirements are set by the Food Act 2001.This Act requires that food sold in the ACT is safe and suitable for human consumption and meets all standards set out in the Food Standards Code.Food Safety in ACT is governed by the ACT Health Protection Service.Regulating & monitoring food safety in ACTThe ACT Health Protection Service is responsible for regulating and monitoring food safety across the entire ACT food industry. This includes:
  • Food business registration
  • Conducting food business inspections
  • Providing food safety resources
  • Enforcing food safety training requirements
  • Publishing the Register of Food Offences
  • Managing kilojoule display legislation
Training RequirementsIn December 2022, Food Standard 3.2.2A was passed at a federal level. This law states that every food business that serves food must have at least one designated Food Safety Supervisor on staff at all times, and that all Food Handlers must be trained to a specific standard.Food Safety Supervisor trainingFood Safety Supervisors are responsible for:
  • overseeing day-to-day implementation of food safety in the workplace
  • supervising and training Food Handlers in the business
Food Safety Supervisors must have completed specific nationally recognised Food Safety Supervisor training.And if your Food Safety Supervisor leaves the business, a replacement must be appointed within 30 days.AIFS has been approved to deliver Food Safety Supervisor training in the ACT.

Federal & local laws and requirements

Federal government requirementsFood Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is responsible for regulating the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, the over-arching standard for food safety in Australia.The Code is split into four sections:
  1. Introduction and standards that apply to all food
  2. Food standards
  3. Food safety standards
  4. Primary production standards
Food Standards Code GovernanceThe Food Standards Code is governed by state and territory departments. In the ACT this is the ACT Health Protection Service.Food safety training requirementsFood safety training requirements changed in December 2022 when Food Standard 3.2.2A was passed.This law applies to all businesses that serve food in Australia and requires them to:
  • Have one or more Food Safety Supervisors that have completed nationally recognised Food Safety Supervisor training
  • Ensure all Food Handlers are trained according to the specifications listed in the standard
  • Maintain and keep additional food safety documentation
All nationally recognised food safety courses offered by AIFS meet the requirements Food Standard 3.2.2A, as well as all state and local requirements.
Local council requirementsLocal councils are usually responsible for food business registration, monitoring compliance, providing education and advice, and taking enforcement action when needed.Both state and federal requirements are enforced at a local level through Health Inspectors employed by local councils.Health Inspectors play an important role in monitoring food safety. They have the authority to:
  • Enter a food business property at any time
  • Enter without permission
  • Request evidence that the correct food safety training has been performed
  • Go into any area of a food business
  • Take samples
  • Issue infringement notices (fines)
  • Close the business immediately if it's deemed to be a serious public health risk
Health Inspectors in the ACT ensure that Food Safety Supervisors have been trained for the correct industry. Recognised industries in the ACT are:

What happens if I don't comply?

The consequences of not complying with the relevant food safety legislation can be serious.
for-job-seekers-icon-Suspended or cancelled licence

Suspended or cancelled licence

For serious offences, food business licences may be suspended or cancelled. This effectively closes your food business and prevents further trading.
for-job-seekers-icon-Significant fines

Significant fines

Fines (penalty notices) may be issued for each offence committed. These often run into tens of thousands of dollars.


For serious breaches of legislation, the ACT Health Protection Service may prosecute employees, proprietors, managers and/or directors.
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Register of food offences

In the ACT, the names of food businesses that have breached food safety legislation are available to the public via the Register of Food Offences.
for-job-seekers-icon-Prohibition or seizure orders

Prohibition or seizure orders

When public health is at risk, your business may be forbidden to handle food and you may have food seized from your premises and destroyed.
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Brand & reputation damage

If a serious food safety incident occurs and is widely reported in the media, your business could struggle to recover its reputation.