The Shire's Environmental Health Service aims to ensure the sale and supply of safe and suitable food to residents and visitors. Our focus is to work cooperatively with business operators to achieve the best possible food safety outcomes.
To achieve this, we undertake routine assessments of food businesses and provide advice on matters such as food hygiene and procedures. We also conduct food training, carry out routine food sampling and investigate complaints from the public.
Food Premises Licensing
Introducing the New Food Act
In October 2009, new laws governing the preparation and sale of food in Western Australia came into force. The Food Act 2008 and the Food Regulations 2009, along with the existing Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, replaced the 1993 Food Hygiene Regulations, and sections of the Health Act 1911. The new laws provide national consistency - a food business will now need to meet the same requirements as a business operating anywhere else in Australia.
The main changes have been that some businesses may now be regarded as food businesses for the first time, introduction of a uniform risk based classification system for all food business, the enforcement abilities of local government, and increased fines and penalties.
All current food businesses recorded by the Shire's Health Services, and those that have been identified as being food businesses under the new laws, will be sent information on the new Food Act, and be required to submit a Notification/Registration Form.
Documents to come
- Application for approval to construct or amend Food Premises
- Food Premises Notification/Registration Form
- Temporary Food Premises Application
Do you have the relevant Planning and Building Approvals?
If not, apply for these before you submit your application to Health Services.
- Contact your Environmental Health Officer with any questions you may have concerning your Health application
- Submit your completed Application and appropriate fee with 2 copies of plans to your Environmental Health Officer.
- Await advice concerning your Application. We will contact you if we require any further information.
- You will be advised if your Application has been approved or refused. If approved, we will provide an approval document with any specific conditions that have been imposed to ensure your new business complies with the food laws.
- Contact your Environmental Health Officer once construction is nearing completion to organise a final assessment. In order to start operating, you will need to ensure all Conditions of Approval have been met.
Taking Over An Existing Food Business
If taking over a food business which has been closed, it may require upgrading to comply with current laws, or in order to be suitable for the type of food you are intending on handling. You must contact the Shire's Health Services prior to opening to arrange to meet with an Environmental Health Officer at the business.
You must not open the food business until you have submitted a Food Premises Notification/Registration Form, paid all relevant registration fees, and received a Certificate of Registration. If you intend to make changes to the food premises prior to opening, an Application for approval to construct or amend Food Premises must be submitted prior to any works commencing.
If the food business you are taking over is currently operating it is recommended that you request a settlement enquiry by contacting the Citys Health Services. This is usually arranged through a settlement agent, and incurs a fee. Where requested an inspection of the premises will be carried out, and a written report provided to the settlement agent advising of any outstanding work orders and registration fees. A Food Premises Notification/Registration Form must be submitted before taking over any business.
What laws does my business need to comply with?
Food businesses must comply with the requirements of the Food Act 2008, the Food Regulations 2009 and the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. Chapter 3 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, also referred to as the Food Safety Standards, outlines the structural requirements your premises must meet, as well as the essential food handling and staff hygiene practices that must be followed to ensure the production of safe food.
Translated factsheets are available from the Food Standards Website.
Safe Food Handler Training
Current food legislation requires all food handlers to have adequate skills and knowledge when employed in a commercial kitchen.
We routinely check food safety knowledge by asking kitchen staff questions about topics like safe food temperature, hand hygiene, stock control, methods of cleaning and sanitising. Skills are assessed by observing staff working.
FoodSafe Food Handler Training Program
The Australian Institute of Environmental Health FoodSafe Food Handler Training Program is a basic introduction for training for food handlers and record keeping systems. Although it is not essential for your business to follow the FoodSafe Program, it is highly recommended as a way of ensuring that you are meeting your obligations in producing safe food. Please read the FoodSafe website.
Stall Holders & Hawkers
Are you thinking of starting business as a food stallholder or a food hawker within the Shire of Irwin? The Local Laws define:
A stall holder as "a person in charge of a moveable or temporarily fixed structure, stand or table in, on or from which goods, wares, merchandise or services are sold, hired or offered for sale or hire", and
A hawker as "hawker, peddler or other person who travels and trades from place to place soliciting orders for goods, wares or merchandise".
Where do you wish to trade from within the Shire?
If you wish to trade from a fixed position, approval will need to be obtained from the landowner before application can be made to the Shire's Health Services. If applicable, contact Main Roads on 9216 8000. Insurance documents must be provided, and the food needs to be sold from a registered food vehicle.
If you don't wish to trade from a fixed position, please apply for a hawkers licence by submitting the relevant application form.
Cooking Food for Sale from Home
Are you thinking of starting a small business from home for the preparation of food for sale to the general public? The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code limits the type of foods that can be prepared from a domestic kitchen. If you plan to prepare food for sale at home you need to make an application to Council by filling out the following form: Application for Approval of Certain Food Handling Activities in Residential Premises.
Applicants should be aware that such a proposal may require development approval from the Shire's Planning Service.
Temporary Food Premises and Events
If you are intending on setting up a food stall or operating a food vehicle from a community event, you must first obtain approval from the City's Health Services by submitting a Temporary Food Premises Application Form.
Food vehicles must be registered with the Shire. A public liability insurance documents and vehicle registration papers must be provided.