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
Victorian state laws and requirements
The 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 system
A 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.
One of the key requirements in the VIC Food Act is related to food safety training.
In Victoria, every Class 1 food business and most Class 2 food businesses must have at least one designated Food Safety Supervisor on staff at all times.
Food Safety Supervisor training
Food 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
What happens if I don't comply?
For serious offences, food premises may be temporarily closed. This effectively closes your food business and prevents further trading.
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.
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.