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Retail Food Businesses

A 'food business' is defined under the NSW Food Act 2003 as a business, enterprise or activity that involves:

  • The handling of food intended for sale, and/or
  • The sale of food.

The Food Act applies to any business, enterprise or activity of a commercial, charitable or community nature, as well as the handling or sale of food on one occasion only.

It is a legislative requirement that all retail food businesses notify their local Council of their intention to trade. All food businesses operating within the Georges River Council must register with Council. Failure to do so may attract a fine. Notification is required for:

  • All new food businesses
  • All new food business owners
  • Any change to food business details.

To Notify or Modify Food Business Details

To notify Council of your food business or modify details of an existing business, please complete and submit the applicable form below:


Types of Food Businesses

There are over 900 food businesses that operate within the George River Council area. The types of food businesses include:

Dine in cafés and restaurants
Supermarkets, mixed businesses and fruit & vegetable retailers
Delicatessens and bakeries
Clubs and pubs
Service stations and convenience stores
Mobile food vendors
Home-based food businesses
Early learning & child care centres, pre-school and school canteens
Temporary food stalls and food trucks


Construction of a Food Outlet

All food premises must be designed, constructed and operated in accordance with the following requirements:

It is also important to consider if a Trade Waste Agreement and approval is required for your food business, ie if you have a grease trap. For more information, contact Sydney Water’s Trade waste section.    

Routine inspections

Council's Environmental Health Officers carry out unannounced routine inspections of all our registered food premises to ensure compliance with food safety requirements and to minimise the likelihood of foodborne illness within the community.

Council will conduct a minimum of one inspection per financial year of all retail food premises operating within the local area. A fee is charged for this inspection in accordance with the Food Act 2003 and Council's Fees and Charges

Additional inspections will be carried out if compliance is not achieved or when an issue is reported to Council or the NSW Food Authority. 

Whilst carrying out inspections, Council's Environmental Health Officers focus on a wide range of issues. Some of them include:

  • Cleaning and sanitising 
  • Temperature control
  • Hygiene and food handling practices
  • Pest control
  • Construction and maintenance of the premises

Routine inspections are also conducted on temporary food businesses and home based food businesses. 

Education and Enforcement 

Council has an educational and regulatory role in enforcing food safety legislation. When the food safety legislation is breached, one or more of the following can be issued/initiated:

  • Written warnings and re-inspections
  • Improvement Notices with the associated administration cost
  • Penalty Notices (Fines)
  • Prohibition Order (closure of the business or part of the business), and/or 
  • Prosecutions. 

Details of penalty notices and prosecutions are published online by the NSW Food Authority and are freely available to the public. This is known as the Name and Shame register. 

From time to time, Council may conduct Food Handler training workshops for local businesses. Food business owners are informed via e-mail of when seminars are held.  

If you want to report a potential food poisoning incident at a food premises. Please complete the Food Poisoning Incident Form

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