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

NSW food safety legislation

As a food business owner or manager, you need to be sure you comply with:
  • Federal government food safety laws
  • NSW 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
NSW food safety legislation

New South Wales state laws and requirements

NSW LegislationIn NSW, food safety requirements are set by the Food Act 2003 (NSW) and the Food Regulation 2015 (NSW).These Acts require that food sold in NSW is safe and suitable for human consumption and meets all standards set out in the Food Standards Code.Food Safety in New South Wales is governed by the NSW Food Authority which comes under the Department of Primary Industries.Together with NSW Health, the NSW Food Authority monitors food safety across the whole state. They make sure the food produced and sold in NSW meets all of the guidelines set out in the relevant state-based legislation.Regulating & monitoring food safety in NSWThe NSW Food Authority is responsible for regulating and monitoring food safety across the entire NSW food industry. This includes:
  • Food business licensing
  • Conducting food business inspections (in partnership with local councils)
  • Managing food labelling requirements
  • Enforcing food safety training requirements
  • Operating the Scores on Doors scheme
  • Publishing the NSW Name & Shame List
  • Providing food recall information
Food safety 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.NSW Food Authority has additional requirements to those set out in Standard 3.2.2A and there are special requirements that Food Safety Supervisors must meet.Food Safety Supervisor trainingAIFS has been approved by the NSW Food Authority to deliver NSW specific Food Safety Supervisor training.This includes four key areas:
  1. Safe egg handling
  2. Allergen management
  3. Cleaning and sanitising practices
  4. Food Act Offences
When you complete training with AIFS, we'll provide you with a NSW Food Safety Supervisor Certificate on behalf of the NSW Food Authority.This must be displayed in the food business.NSW RecertificationOnce you receive your Food Safety Supervisor qualification, the certificate is valid for 5 years from the date of issue.If your certificate is due to expire you'll need to complete the NSW Recertification course to receive recertification issued by the NSW Food Authority.Food businesses have 30 working days to ensure their appointed Food Safety Supervisor renews their training and obtains a new Food Safety Supervisor certification.

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 New South Wales, this is the NSW Food Authority.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 New South Wales ensure that Food Safety Supervisors have been trained for the correct industry. Recognised industries in New South Wales are:

What happens if I don't comply?

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 NSW Food Authority may prosecute employees, proprietors, managers and/or individual company directors.
for-job-seekers-icon-Added to a 'Name & Shame' list

Added to a 'Name & Shame' list

In NSW, the names of food businesses that have breached food safety legislation are available to the public via a 'Name & Shame' list.
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.
for-job-seekers-icon-Brand & reputation damage

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.