Food businesses

Under the Food Act 1984, businesses operating in Victoria that sell food to the public must register with their local council. This includes businesses operating from home or those that store food at home to use in their food van or temporary food premises.

To protect the health of the public, all food premises must comply with the Food Act 1984, Food Standards Code 3.2.2 and 3.2.3 and Australian Standard 4674-2004 (Design, construction and fit-out of food premises). To assist with compliance, Melton City Council has produced a document called the Food Establishment Specifications which details the most important requirements of the above regulations.

Food establishment specifications

The Melton City Council Food Establishment Specifications are designed to assist you with compliance with the Food Standards Code and Food Act 1984. If you have any questions after reading the Food Establishment Specifications we recommend you contact our Environmental Health Services on 03 9747 7200 or health@melton.vic.gov.au.

Food Establishment Specifications(PDF, 6MB)

Plan assessment

It is recommended that prior to undertaking any works at a proposed food premises or at an existing food premises, you submit a copy of your floor plans for assessment. You can alternatively request an inspection by an Environmental Health Officer.

You are welcome to contact us on 03 9747 7200 or health@melton.vic.gov.au to discuss your options.

We recommend that you not begin any works on your new food premises before receiving your approved plans.

Final inspection

Our Environmental Health Officers must conduct a final inspection to ensure compliance with the Food Act 1984 and the Melton City Council Food Establishment Specifications. You can then apply for registration of your food premises. Upon receipt of your Registration of a Food Premises Certificate, you can begin trading.

Please contact our Environmental Health Services on 03 9747 7200 or health@melton.vic.gov.au to arrange.

Starting a food business from home

In some areas of the municipality you cannot operate a food business from home. You must contact our Town Planning department to determine whether you can.

If you are in a rental property, you should also check with your landlord that you can operate a business from home.

Only then can you submit plans for assessment and apply for registration.

Food businesses from home must comply with the same guidelines and legislation set out for all other food premises. We strongly suggest you read and adhere to the Melton City Council Food Establishment Specifications.

Registration of a food premises

Food premises within Victoria are given a classification of 1, 2, 3 or 4.

Your food business classification is determined by the type of food and how it is being handled.

Class 1 food premises are those that predominately handle high risk food (meat, seafood, dairy, etc) that is served to vulnerable groups, such as hospitals, child care centres providing long day care and aged care facilities.

Class 2 food premises are those that handle unpackaged high risk food. Premises expected to fall under Class 2 include restaurants, fast food outlets, pubs, caterers, delicatessens, supermarkets with delicatessens, cafes and most manufacturers.

Class 2 premises are required to have an approved food safety program. Foodsmart is available to help tailor the food safety program template to your business needs. By answering a series of questions Foodsmart will produce a food safety program tailored to your food handling activities. The program can then be downloaded, stored on your computer and printed for your use. You can also download a standard food safety template produced by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Class 3 food premises are those that handle either pre-packaged low risk or unpackaged high risk food. Premises expected to fall under Class 3 include fruit stalls selling cut fruit, wholesalers distributing pre-packaged foods, most milkbars, convenience stores and coffee bars and food vending machines handling lower risk foods.

Class 4 food premises are those that handle pre-packaged low risk food and engage in other food handling activities that pose a low risk to public health. Premises expected to fall under Class 4 include bottle shops, premises which sell uncut fruit and vegetables such as farmers markets and greengrocers, premises offering wine tastings, those selling packaged cakes (excluding cream cakes), bottled jams or honey, sessional kindergartens serving low risk food and cut fruit and stalls running simple sausage sizzles, where sausages are cooked and served immediately.

More information about food premises classification can be found on the Food Safety page.

You must contact our Environmental Health Services on 03 9747 7200 or health@melton.vic.gov.au to obtain an Application for Registration form.

Transfer of a food premises

If you are selling a food premises or are thinking of purchasing a food business you need to complete an Application for Transfer of Registration form. It is the responsibility of the purchaser to ensure the premises is compliant.

Please contact our Environmental Health Services on 03 9747 7200 or health@melton.vic.gov.au to arrange a transfer inspection time.

Renewal of registration of a food premises

The registration period for a food premises is 1 January to 31 December annually. You will be notified in October of each year that your food premises registration is due for renewal. All associated fees must be paid by 31 December or trade cannot continue.

Streatrader or temporary and mobile food businesses

If you operate a temporary or mobile food business, be it a market stall or tent, or a food van or vending machine, your business will require registration or notification through Streatrader.

Streatrader is a website where you can:

  • apply for registration or notification
  • advise any Victorian council that you will trade in its municipality
  • manage our food business activity.

Food waste from food premises

Managing food waste and complying with the law

Food waste containing meat, other animal by-products, some dairy products and any food that has come into contact with these prohibited foods must not be fed to pigs. These foods can contain viruses that cause diseases in animals, such as foot-and-mouth disease. These viruses are not destroyed by chilling, freezing, curing or cooking.

Some examples of food that must not be provided to farmers includes:

  • vegetables, rice, pasta and other food that has been in direct contact with meat or meat products
  • pizza bun rolls, meat pies
  • bacon and cheese rolls, salad rolls containing meat
  • caesar salad (because it contains bacon pieces)
  • steak, hamburgers, sausages, butcher’s shop waste
  • milk products such as yoghurt, butter and cheese.

Businesses that prepare and sell food, such as restaurants, bakeries, hotels, fast food outlets and hospitals, have a responsibility to dispose of food waste appropriately. Prohibited food waste should be placed in an appropriate garbage bin for collection by the council or commercial waste service for disposal in landfill or composting at an appropriate recycling facility.

  • Illegal activities include:
  • feeding prohibited food waste to pigs
  • supplying prohibited food waste to feed pigs
  • collecting prohibited food waste from food premises to provide to a piggery.

Heavy financial penalties may apply to individuals or corporations found guilty of conducting the prohibited activities mentioned above.

More information on these restrictions, including translated factsheets in Arabic, Mandarin and Vietnamese, is available from the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.

Further information

You can obtain further information from the Department of Health and Human Services - Starting a food business, Business Victoria and Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) websites.

Melton City Council Environmental Health Officers can be contacted on 9747 7200 or at health@melton.vic.gov.au.