Reforms to make it simpler, clearer and quicker for Victorian councils and food businesses to understand, apply and comply with food safety regulation.

The Victorian Government undertook a review to map the areas of regulation that are the most burdensome for small retail businesses. This review,  the Small Business Regulation Retail Sector Review 2016-18, identifies areas of potentially unnecessary regulation or changes to the administration of regulation that would reduce the burden on small businesses in Victoria.

The review also recommended several reforms to assist food businesses and local government to better understand and apply food safety regulation and their obligations under the Victorian Food Act 1984 (the Act). This led to the creation of the Food Safety Reform Program.

We are implementing the changes identified by the review over the next few years as it rolls out the work schedule for the Food Safety Reform Program. 

We are making food business…

... simpler

We are simplifying record keeping requirements for some types of food premises and working with councils to review and improve the way we assess and classify food premises. The aim is to develop an updated classification system that will accurately classify food premises based on the level of public health risk.

...clearer

We are producing guidance material to make it clearer and easier for environmental health officers (EHOs) in councils to identify what their responsibilities are under the Act. We will provide professional development and training to council staff to ensure consistent assessment of food businesses across council boundaries.

We are, in consultation with EHOs and councils, working to improve the transparency of the fees councils charge food businesses. If you want to find out more about the range of fees a specific council charges food business, all fees are available on the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) website. ABLIS is a federal government website that has been available since the early 1990’s providing information and licensing fees to business owners (not just food businesses).

...quicker

We are developing an online registration platform for food businesses – FoodTrader – enabling food premises to register through a one-stop online application service. 

We are enhancing Streatrader, making it less administratively burdensome for councils, quicker for businesses and community groups to participate in events at short notice, and easier for organisers to quickly access and manage their event registrations. As of 31 May 2019, mobile and temporary food businesses can lodge a statement of trade one business day prior to an event with their principal and/or trading council. This is a change from the previous five business day requirement and it is providing greater flexibility for businesses that are called in to trade at an event at the last minute.

Food Safety Reform Program 2018-21

Contact the Food Safety Reform Program team if you have any questions via email on foodsafetyreforms@dhhs.vic.gov.au

Update: download our latest flyer for businesses about the food safety reforms below.