Key messages

  • Class 1 and 2 food premises must comply with food safety program requirements.
  • Class 1 and 2 businesses using an independent food safety program must be audited each year.
  • Class 2 businesses using a department-registered food safety program undergo an assessment of compliance by local council.
  • Premises that are issued with noncompliance notices may be charged for follow-up checks by local council.
  • Class 3 and 4 premises are inspected by local environmental health officers.

Each food business class and food safety program type has its own compliance requirements.

Businesses using an independent food safety program

For class 1 premises with an independent food safety program, two annual compliance checks are required:

  • one annual audit by a department-approved auditor
  • one annual assessment of compliance by council.

For class 2 premises with an independent food safety program, one annual audit by a department-approved food safety auditor is required.

Businesses using a department-registered food safety program

A department-registered food safety program template is not currently available for class 1 premises.

For class 2 premises using a food safety program developed using a department-registered food safety program template, one annual assessment of compliance by council is needed.

Local councils can provide advice to proprietors and community groups about how to handle food safely and are responsible for enforcing the Food Act 1984.

Compliance breaches: fees and fines

Fees cannot be charged for mandatory, statutory assessments or inspections.

When there has been repeated noncompliance by a food premises, councils may choose to charge the premises additional fees for follow-up inspections, to recover the increased costs councils incur when having to repeatedly attending the same premises.

Councils are able to issue on-the-spot fines for certain food safety or hygiene offences. This includes a range of less serious infringements. For more information, see ‘Food businesses – enforcement and penalties’.

Class 3 and 4 compliance

Because class 3 and 4 food premises handle or sell only low-risk foods, they do not need to have a food safety program and, as a result, do not need to be audited. They will be inspected by an environmental health officer from the local council.

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