This information is for food businesses. If you have an issue with food poisoning or other concerns about food safety, visit our page about Food Safety Complaints.
Most business that sell food or drink need to be registered with the Council and ensure their products are safe for consumption.
Application to Register a Food Business(PDF, 190KB)
The Food Act 1984 (Food Act) requires that all businesses, organisations, individuals and community groups selling food or drink in Victoria are classified according to their risk. This applies to all food premises, even temporary and not-for-profit premises.
There are four classes of food premises, with Class 1 having the highest level of legal and regulatory requirements as this class has the most risk. Some examples of businesses and their classes:
- Class 1 - hospitals, child care centres and aged care services that serve high risk foods
- Class 2 - other premises that handle high risk food unpackaged food
- Class 3 - premises that handle unpackaged low risk food or high risk pre-packaged food, and warehouses and distributors.
- Class 4 - minimum risk, including shelf-stable prepackaged low risk foods, alcohol, uncut fruit and vegetables, wine tasting, packaged cakes (excluding cream cakes), sausage sizzles (excluding hamburgers or other high risk foods).
You'll find more information on the application form that may help classify your business. Remember, these classes generally apply but if your business sells a combination of food classes or if you carry out additional activities at your business, it's best to contact the Council to discuss your food safety class.
The Council is responsible for classifying premises according to their risk. You must follow the Food Act’s safety regulation and requirements for your classification.
To determine the classification of your food business please go to www.health.vic.gov.au/food-safety
All Class 1 and Class 2 food businesses must register with the Council and have an approved Food Safety Program, which is a written statement that demonstrates the safety of food sold by the business.
You can prepare your own Food Safety Program by using the information and templates available on the Department of Health website.
The most common template is the Food Safety Program Template for Class 2 Retail and Food Service Businesses. You can download this at no cost by clicking on the link. Hard copies can be purchased for a fee from Benalla Rural City Council.
Food Safety Programs and any associated records must be kept on the premises and be available for inspection upon request.
Food Safety Supervisors
All Class 1 and most Class 2 food businesses are required to nominate a qualified Food Safety Supervisor. This nominated person is responsible for the day-to-day management of food safety and handling procedures within the premises.
The Food Safety Supervisor must have a certificate or statement of attainment from a Registered Training Organisation.
Read more information about Food Safety Supervisor requirements, including a step-by-step guide to determine whether your business needs a Supervisor and if so, how they can meet the requirements of the Food Act 1984 .
Every person who works or volunteers in a food premises is responsible for ensuring the food they prepare or sell is safe to consume. There are different levels of skills and knowledge required by people fulfilling different roles within the food premises. See the Department of Health website for more information about food handler skills and knowledge.
Minimum Records – Class 3
Class 3 premises must register with the Council but are not required to have a Food Safety Program. However, they are required to maintain a set of minimum records related to food safety. All records must be kept on premises and be available for inspection upon request.
A copy of the required records and food safety information for Class 3 businesses can be found in the Food safety guide for food businesses Class 3(PDF, 5MB).
Food Safety for Class 4 food businesses
Class 4 premises only need to notify the Council.
For more information about holding a market stall, visit our Mobile Food Vans & Markets Stalls page.
Food Safety for Community Groups
Class 2 Community Groups operating an event for one or two days require a Food Safety Program but are not required to have a Food Safety Supervisor.
Class 2 Community Groups operating an event for more than two days are required to have both a Food Safety Program and a Food Safety Supervisor.
Class 3 Community Groups are required to maintain minimum records contained in the Food safety guide for food businesses Class 3(PDF, 5MB).