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Retail Food Businesses

When running a retail food business, it is essential to have a good understanding of and adhere to the food legislative requirement that applies to the business operation.

Complying with the food legislation ensures the maintenance of high standards of safety, hygiene and quality throughout the business process. 

Notification of Food Business Details

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


Report an Incident

To report a food business for potential breach of the food legislation, please complete our Log it/Fix it form.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What approval do I need to start a retail food business in Georges River Council?

    Buying an existing food business: When buying an existing business, it is important to know that the existing business has the correct approval to operate as a food business. To find out if an existing premise has the correct approval to operate as a food business, contact Council’s Duty Planner Service

    Setting up a new food business: Setting up a food business on vacant premises or a premise that was not previously used as a food premises requires approval. For more information, contact Council’s Duty Planner Service.

  • Notifying Retail Food business including changing business details

    All retail food businesses in NSW are required to notify their food business details with their local Council under Section 100 of the Food Act 2003

    Notification of a food business should be done before the operation of a food business. If you are a new business owner you need to notify Council of your food business.  

    Once notification is processed by Council, a confirmation email is sent to the owner of the food business. This confirmation email can be used as proof of notification. 

    Notification is charged a fee in accordance with Council’s fees and charges

    Minor changes in food business information is common. If the contact person’s details or a food safety supervisor’s detail changes, notification can be made to with no additional fees or charges.

  • I have sold my food business; do I need to notify Council?

    Yes. When notifying Council that your business has ceased, the contact and accounts associated with your food business will cease. 

    If no notification was received, you will run a risk of your business being charged for services provided to the new business owners.  

    You can notify the closure of your business to

  • How often does Council inspect food premises?

    All Category One and Two food premises are carried out by Council’s Environmental Health Officers once every financial year. Re-inspection may occur if there are non-compliances noted during the inspection. Retail food business that are not in categories one or two are inspected on a complaint based only. 

    Food businesses that showed continuous non-compliance or have received a Prohibition Order in the last 24 months may be subject to more food inspections per financial year to ensure ongoing compliance with the food legislation.

  • Is there a charge for food premises inspection?
    Yes. Food premises inspections and re-inspections are charged a fee in accordance with Council's Fees and Charges.
  • How do I know that the inspecting Officer is from Council?
    All Environmental Health Officers from Georges River Council carry an identification card with their photo and name. The card is signed by the General Manager of Georges River Council. 
    You can verify the Officer’s details by contacting Georges River Council on (02) 9330 6400 and requesting to speak with the Coordinator Environmental Health. 
  • What do Council Officers look for when inspecting my food premises?

    When carrying out inspections, Environmental Health Officers focus on a wide range of issues including:

    It is important to note that the Officers carry out food premises inspections in accordance with the food legislation. 

  • What is the food legislation?

     The food legislation includes:

    All food businesses are required to comply with the above food legislation. Only Category One and Two food businesses are required to comply with Food Safety Standard 3.2.2A. 

  • Do the new laws for food businesses under Standard 3.2.2A affect me?

    Recent changes to the Food Standards Code have introduced new requirements for all businesses that prepare and serve food in NSW.

    From Friday 8 December 2023, businesses that process unpackaged, potentially hazardous food, and serve it ready-to-eat, are required to:

    • Have a qualified onsite Food Safety Supervisor.

    • Ensure all food handlers are trained in food safety and hygiene.

    • Be able to show their food is safe.

    Businesses that only slice, weigh, repack, reheat or hot-hold potentially hazardous food they have not been made themselves, for example slicing fruit or reheating meals provided by a caterer, are required to:

    • Have a qualified onsite Food Safety Supervisor.

    • Ensure all food handlers are trained in food safety and hygiene.

    The changes affect most retail and hospitality food businesses, as well as school canteens, childcare and OOSH services, charities and not-for-profits that regularly sell food, delis, supermarkets, coffee vendors and correctional centres.

    See the NSW Food Authority website for more information:

  • I run a Childcare centre/school canteen; do I need a Food Safety Supervisor?

    Food Safety Standard 3.2.2A requires all category one and two premises to have a Food Safety Supervisor. The Food Safety Supervisor must hold a current certificate. 
    Where childcare centres and school canteens, were previously exempted they are now required to appoint a Food Safety Supervisor for their business. 

  • What happens if I fail the inspection?

    Council plays a crucial role in both educating and regulating to ensure that the food produced for sale is safe for consumption. To assist food businesses in understanding and complying with the legislative requirement, the Council and the NSW Food Authority have published a range of factsheets. These factsheets are a valuable tool for businesses to navigate the necessary requirements. 

    Additionally, food businesses can seek guidance and advice on food safety matters from their area Environmental Health Officers. When carrying out inspections, the Environmental Health Officers adopt an educational approach by providing the necessary information and guidance to food businesses. Their aim is to help businesses meet the required standards. However, in cases where non-compliance is noted, the Officers will follow Council’s Enforcement Policy and may take one or more of the following measures:

    Re-inspections Re-inspections are carried out to ensure compliance with the food legislation. Officers will advise the food business when the re-inspection occurs. 
    Written warnings Written warnings are issued to food businesses to highlight non-compliance to the food legislation. A written warning is usually followed up with a re-inspection to ensure compliance.
    Improvement Notices An Improvement Notice may be issued to a food business for any repeated non-compliance with legislative requirements. An Improvement Notice gives specific directions and time frames to business owners to comply.

    An improvement Notice has an administration cost of $330. 

    Improvement Notices are followed up with reinspection/s.
    Penalty Notices Penalty Notices may be issued for non-compliance with the Food legislation. 

    When penalty notices are issued and paid, details of the penalty notices are published online by the NSW Food Authority and are freely available to the public. This is known as the Name and Shame register.
    Prohibition Order A Prohibition Order is issued when an Improvement Notice issued to the business owner has not been complied with or the issues identified is an immediate risk to public health and safety. 

    A Prohibition Order directs the food business to cease trading (or cease using a certain process or equipment) at the premises until a Clearance Certificate is provided by Council. 
    Prosecution Food businesses can be prosecuted for continuous non-compliance to the food legislation.

    Prosecution result is published online by the NSW Food Authority and is freely available to the public. This is known as the Name and Shame register.
  • I was inspected by Council, why am I receiving and invoice from Revenue NSW?

    Georges River Council has engaged Revenue NSW to recover outstanding financial debts.  

    When Officers carries out food inspection, Revenue NSW will generate and send the invoice directly to the respective business.  

    Any enquiries or communication related to the invoice received should be directed to Revenue NSW on 1300 655 805. They will handle all matters concerning the financial aspect of the inspection process. 

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