Regulations for food and drink businesses
All local businesses that serve food to the public are regulated by Mosman Council and the NSW Food Authority. We provide advice and approve new businesses, monitor food hygiene practices, do checks for contamination, follow up on customer requests and make sure business owners and their staffs comply with legislative requirements.
Mosman Council inspects around 150 premises annually in accordance with Council Food inspection program and the partnership with the NSW food Authority.
Council’s Environmental Health Officers are Authorised Officers under the Food Act 2003 and may inspect any retail food business that is believed to be used in connection with the handling or sale of food.
Inspections are carried out without prior notice to the food business and may be carried out at any reasonable time, which usually is during the businesses trading hours. It is an offence to obstruct an Authorised Officer in exercise of their functions under the Food Act.
The inspections focus on a wide range of issues including cleanliness, temperature control, hygiene and food handling practices, pest control, construction and maintenance of the premises and waste storage.
Where premises are found not to be at an acceptable standard, re-inspections may be required until standards are improved to an acceptable level. Food businesses are invoiced for all re-inspections – the fees for re-inspections may be found in Council’s current Schedule of Fees and Charges.
Breaches of the Food Act 2003 may be addressed by way of:
- Warning letter
- Penalty notice
- Court prosecution
- Seizure of items/equipment
- Improvement Notice and/or
- Prohibition Order.
The NSW Food Authority publishes a register of penalty Notices which lists businesses that have breached or alleged to have breached NSW food safety laws. Publishing the lists gives consumers more information to make decisions about where they eat or buy food.
Food premises, mobile food vendors, child care centres, school canteens, cafes, restaurants, takeaways, hotels and home food retail businesses need to register with the Mosman Council if they:
- Open a new business
- Close down/stop trading
- Move to new premises
- Sell to a new proprietor
- Change their trading name.
To notify us, please use the standard Food Premises Notification Form. Submit the form to us and a staff member may contact you if we require more information about your notification.
Stallholders and event organisers have obligations around temporary food stalls, which have to be approved and registered before food can be sold at fairs, festivals and other public events.
If you want to sell or provide food and drink at public events, you need approval from Mosman Council Compliance team; you can apply with the Temporary Food Outlet Application Form.
Stallholders and event organisers should view the Guidelines for Food Businesses At Temporary Events.
If you would like to apply as a mobile food/drink vendor, you will need to complete the standard Food Premises Notification Form. Submit the form to us and a Compliance Officer may contact you if we require more information about your notification.
Council’s Environmental Health Officers regularly inspect and advise food businesses about hygiene practices. The inspections ensure compliance with Food Safety Standards set by the Australia New Zealand Food Authority and assess:
- food safety practices and general requirements
- food handling controls
- health and hygiene procedures
- cleanliness and sanitation of the premise, food contact surfaces and utensils
- food temperature control
- animals and pest management
- adequate design, construction and maintenance of the premise and facilities
- food labelling compliance
Inspections are conducted annually and incur a fee. Please contact the Compliance Team on 9978 4094 for details on health inspection and inspection fees.
Mosman Council uses the standard Food Premises Assessment Report (FPAR) checklist developed in partnership with the NSW Food Authority. We also recommend all businesses review the following factsheets developed by the NSW Food Authority:
Food laws in NSW require certain food businesses to have at least one trained Food Safety Supervisor (FSS). The aim of an FSS is to prevent individuals from becoming ill from food poisoning as a result of incorrect handling and preparation of food. This applies to food businesses who sell food that is:
- potentially hazardous (requires temperature control) and
- not sold and served in the supplier’s original packaging.
An FSS Certificate must be kept on the premises and produced for inspection on request by Council’s Environmental Health Officer. Some food businesses are exempt from this requirement and these can be found on the NSW Food Authority site – Food Safety Supervisor.
This is an adopted program by Council that recognises and celebrates food businesses that have demonstrated a good to excellent standard of food safety.
|5 stars – Excellent||The business has achieved the highest level of compliance with food safety standards.|
|4 stars – Very good||The business has very good safety practices in place. Some minor areas where standards were not meet will need to be addressed.|
|3 stars – Good||The business has a good standard of food compliance. A number of areas, although not serious, need to be corrected.|
We want to ensure that food sold to consumers is safe and correctly labelled. If you have a concern, we welcome your complaint to help us protect the well-being of all consumers.
Common types of food customer requests include reports of:
- suspected food poisoning
- unhygienic or incorrect food handling, storage, transport or preparation
- foreign matter in food
- allergens not listed in ingredients
- misleading or incomplete labelling
- unsuitable or unsafe ingredients
- unlicensed sale or serving of food.
For more information please visit NSW Food Authority Website.