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

VIC food safety legislation

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

Victorian state laws and requirements

VIC LegislationThe sale and production of food in Victoria is controlled by the Food Act 1984.This legislation is enforced by the Victorian government Department of Health & Human Services.The Act requires that all food sold and produced in Victoria is safe for human consumption and meets all standards set out in the Food Standards Code.VIC classification systemA key component of the Act is a classification system for food businesses.Businesses are classified between Class 1 and 4 depending on their deemed risk to consumers:
  • Class 1 businesses - highest risk
  • Class 4 businesses - lowest risk
The classification system guides Health Inspectors when they issue infringement notices for food safety breaches.Health Inspectors in Victoria have the authority to close businesses where there is an immediate threat to public health.This classification system is different to the federal classification system outlined in Food Standard 3.2.2A which has 2 categories of food businesses. Make sure you know your classification at both a federal and state level.
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 Victoria.

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 Victoria, this is the Department of Health & Human Services.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 Victoria ensure that Food Safety Supervisors have been trained for the correct industry. Recognised industries in Victoria are:

What happens if I don't comply?

for-job-seekers-icon-Temporary closure

Temporary closure

For serious offences, food premises may be temporarily closed. This effectively closes your food business and prevents further trading.
for-job-seekers-icon-Significant fines

Significant fines

On-the-spot fines and penalties may be issued for each offence committed. These often run into tens of thousands of dollars.


For serious breaches of legislation, the Dept of Health & Human Services may start prosecution proceedings against your food business.
for-job-seekers-icon-Brand & reputation damage

Brand & reputation damage

When serious food safety incidents occur and are widely reported in the media, your food business could struggle to recover its reputation.