SA / NT / WA / TAS

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


Food safety legislation and you

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As a food business owner or manager, you need to be sure you comply with:

  • Federal government food safety laws
  • Your state/territory 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

Federal & local laws and requirements

Federal government requirements

Food 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 Governance

The Food Standards Code is governed by state and territory departments.

Food safety training requirements

Food safety training is covered in Food Safety Practices and General Requirements Standard 3.2.2 which states that:

‘A food business must ensure that all persons undertaking or supervising food handling operations have the necessary skills in food safety and food hygiene matters.'

This means that anyone who handles or prepares food, serves food, transports food or cleans food equipment and utensils must undergo food safety training if they don't already have the required skills.

The easiest way to make sure you’re meeting the federal requirements is by completing a food safety training course such as the Food Handlers course provided by AIFS.

Local council requirements

Local 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 are authorised 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 a serious public health risk

SA / NT / WA / TAS laws and requirements

Regulating & monitoring food safety in South Australia

Food safety in South Australia is governed by the Food Safety Act 2001.

This Act requires that all food sold in South Australia is safe and suitable for human consumption and meets all standards set out in the Food Standards Code.

SA Health enforces these regulations and will assist food business with their food safety planning. However, it is up to the business to ensure they comply with food safety laws and regulations.

Food Safety Rating Scheme

South Australian food businesses are rated using SA Health's Food Safety Rating Scheme.

This scheme, also referred to as "scores-on-doors", allows state and local councils to rate a food business based on the results of routine food safety inspections.

The result is represented as either a number, letter or star rating and is displayed at the food business.

Food business classification

Food businesses in SA are classified according to the level of risk that they present.

  • Priority 1 (P1) businesses are the highest risk.
  • Priority 4 (P4) businesses are the lowest risk.

These classifications are used to determine priority for inspection, inspection frequency and which regulatory requirements need to be applied.

Regulating & monitoring food safety in the Northern Territory

Food safety in the Northern Territory is governed by the Food Act 2016 (NT).

This Act requires that all food sold in the Northern Territory is safe and suitable for human consumption and meets all standards set out in the Food Standards Code.

The NT Department of Health enforces these regulations and assists food businesses by providing food recall information and food safety resources on their website.

Food business registration

As of 1 January 2015, all food businesses need to be registered.

This registration allows the Department to identify the risks of the business, provide them with information about food safety including recalls, identify sources of food-borne illness, target inspections and respond to complaints more effectively.

Businesses must pay an annual registration fee to the Department of Health based on their food business classification.

Food business classification

Food businesses in the NT are classified according to the level of risk that they present. There are three levels of classification based on the following:

  • Food type and intended customer use
  • Activity of the business
  • Method of processing
  • Customer base

Regulating & monitoring food safety in Western Australia

Food safety in Western Australia is governed by the Food Act 2008 (WA).

This Act requires that all food sold in Western Australia is safe and suitable for human consumption and meets all standards set out in the Food Standards Code. WA Health enforces these regulations.

Food business registration

It's an offence in WA to conduct a food business at any premises unless it's registered with the appropriate enforcement agency.

Food business registration is not only required for fixed premises, it's also necessary to register your food business if you are operating a market stall, food truck or any other type of mobile food business.

Food Offenders List

WA Health has a publicly available Food Offenders List. This list contains details of all food businesses and persons that have been convicted of an offence under the Food Act 2008.

Details remain on the Food Offenders List for up to 24 months.

Regulating & monitoring food safety in Tasmania

Food safety in Tasmania is governed by the Food Act 2003 (TAS).

This Act requires that all food sold in Tasmania is safe and suitable for human consumption and meets all standards set out in the Food Standards Code. The Department of Health & Human Services in Tasmania enforces these regulations.

Food business registration

It's an offence in Tasmania to conduct a food business at any premises unless the food business is registered with the appropriate enforcement agency.

Mobile food businesses

In Tasmania, a distinction is made between mobile food businesses and other types of food businesses. A mobile food business can choose to apply for a once-off temporary registration or for statewide registration.

Mobile food businesses include mobile pizza ovens, custom-built barbeques and food sold from temporary structures such as tables, stalls and booths.

What happens if I don't comply

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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.

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Significant fines

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

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Prosecution

For serious breaches of legislation, food safety enforcement agencies may start prosecution proceedings against your food business.

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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.