Planning, Rules & Payments
Food surveillance within Towong Shire ensures that food sold within the municipality is safe and suitable for human consumption. All food premises are registered and inspected by Council’s Environmental Health Officers. In addition, samples of food are purchased and tested by an independent laboratory to ensure compliance with the National Food Standards Code.
New Businesses and Alterations
Should you decide to operate a food premises, whether it is an existing business or you construct or alter a building for the purpose, you need to be aware that there are certain regulations, standards and Council requirements to consider.
It is recommended that you seek advice from Council’s Development, Building and Environmental Health Departments to ensure you become familiar with all the requirements relating to your application before you proceed.
All current and new retail food establishments operating within the Shire are required to be registered with Council on an annual basis. All new businesses must ensure they are registered prior to the commencement of operation of the business. It is the responsibility of the proprietor to ensure the premises are registered with Council on an annual basis.
Details of the premises should also be updated when the address, proprietor or business name changes.
If you would like more information, require your premises to be registered or your registration needs to be renewed contact Council’s Environmental Health Officer on (02) 6071 5100.
Council has powers under the Food Act 1984 to inspect any premises where food is prepared or distributed for public consumption. This is part of Council’s service and ongoing commitment to its residents.
Council has a public register of commercial food premises that pay registration fees and these have now been classified in accordance with new guidelines from the Victorian Department of Health. The greater the risk of the food and the potential for things to go wrong during the food handling processes, the higher a business’ classification and inspection frequency.
Inspections of food premises are aimed at ensuring the supply of safe food to the consumer by assessing construction and activities against relevant legislation and standards. Food businesses will be inspected and required to comply with food regulations. Council will take immediate action to address non-compliance.
Compliance regulations will require food businesses to maintain premises and equipment in good repair, demonstrate thorough cleaning practices, ensure correct storage of foods and that staff receive training.
The Food Safety Standards are designed to ensure that food produced in Australia is safe to eat. More information about the four food standards is located on the Food Standard Australia and New Zealand website.
Food Safety Program
A food safety program is a written document that shows how a business is managing the safety of the food prepared, served, manufactured or sold.
All Victorian food businesses (Class 1 and 2) are required to have a food safety program before the food business registration can be granted. You will need to submit your program to Council. This document is available on the Department of Health Victoria website.
Food Safety Supervisor
Each business needs to nominate a food safety supervisor when it submits its food safety program. This person will be responsible for the implementation of the food safety program.
Businesses are required to provide Council with the name and qualifications of the food safety supervisor. All Towong Shire food businesses must submit to Council the following:
- A copy of their food safety supervisor’s qualifications; and
- A signed statement by the proprietor stating that the nominated food safety supervisor has the ability and the authority to supervise food handlers.
It is the responsibility of the food business to notify Council in writing within 14 days of any changes to the food safety program or supervisor.
The Environmental Health Department also conducts routine food sampling throughout the Shire. Council currently has a four year sampling program in place and all premises can expect to be involved at some time during this period. Complaints regarding food safety may also result in samples being taken as part of an investigation.