Food businesses

Food businesses

Council undertakes inspections of all premises that sell and handle food to ensure compliance with legislative requirements, including the requirement that all food handlers have adequate skills and knowledge in safe food handling practices.

The Food Act 2003 defines food as 'any substance or thing of a kind used, or represented as being for use, for human consumption' (whether it is live, raw, prepared or partly prepared).

To assist in compliance, the environmental health unit conducts free food handling training courses in various languages for food shop proprietors.

Food safety fact sheets

English (pdf 921KB) | Vietnamese (pdf 993KB) | Chinese (pdf 6.47MB) | Thai (pdf 6.59MB)

For further assistance, contact Council's Environmental Health Officer on 9330 9400.


All food premises must be registered with Council prior to operation of the business. It is an offence under the Food Act 2003 not to register your food business with Kogarah City Council.

To register your food business, please complete the food business registration form (pdf 431KB) and return it to Council's Environmental Health team.


Under the Food Act 2003, authorised officers are permitted to enter and inspect any premises that are believed to be used in connection with the handling or sale of food.

Other powers of authorised officers include:

  • examine any food for sale
  • open and examine any package the Officer believes contains food
  • open and examine any equipment
  • take samples
  • examine any records or documents
  • take photos, films or audio recordings
  • require a person to state their name and residential address.

For all powers of an authorised officer refer to Section 37 of the Food Act.

During inspections the officer looks for compliance with the Food Standards Code and focuses on the following areas:

  • cleanliness
  • temperature control
  • hygiene and food handling practices
  • pest control
  • construction and maintenance of the premises
  • waste storage.

Should non-compliances be found, improvement notices or infringements may be issued or immediate court action undertaken. Reinspections will be then be conducted until compliance is achieved.

This new legislation now permits authorised officers to issue on the spot fines for non-compliances with the food standards code. For further information on these fines refer to the Food Regulation 2010 Clause 9.

Council conducts a minimum of one (1) annual inspection of all food premises within the Local Government Area (LGA). A fee is charged for this inspection as per the Local Government Act 1993 and Council's schedule of fees within the management plan.

New business owners

Before opening any food business or purchasing an existing food business it is vital you contact the local Council. Each Council area may have different requirements and may offer advice or services to assist you.

See do I need development consent from Council?

Existing premises

For a nominal fee Council's Environmental Health section can conduct a 'pre-purchase inspection' of the business you are looking at purchasing. The report from this inspection will detail any works that will need to be undertaken to ensure compliance with legislative requirements and development approval.

This report will assist new owners in forming an accurate assessment of the costs of taking on the business prior to purchase.

It is also recommended that you conduct a search on existing notices or orders that may be outstanding.

New premises

All premises involved in the handling of food must have development approval from Council. For information on development applications refer to the section under Building & Development and the Food Premises DA checklist.

The development application is assessed for compliance with legislative requirements and Australian Standard 4674 - Design, construction and fit-out of food premises and any relevant Council codes or policies.

Note: development approval is also required for outdoor dining areas located on Council's footpath.

For further assistance, contact Council's Environmental Health Officer on 9330 9400.

General information for proprietors


All food premises must notify the NSW Food Authority. This includes the corner store that sells only milk, bread and sweets or the liquor store.

Notification can be completed by using NSW Food Authority's free online service or through Council by completing a notification form with the processing fee of $55.

The following information is required:

  • proprietor's name;
  • business address;
  • type and nature of business;
  • food supplied and
  • location of all outlet(s) and premises.

If your business changes, for example the name or address, you must update your notification to reflect these changes.

Related sites

NSW Food Authority  

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand 

Sydney Water (Trade Waste permits)