Food Business Licensing Requirements

Licensing Requirements

The Food Act 2006 requires certain food businesses to be licensed annually with Council.  Licensable food businesses are food businesses that:

  1. involves the manufacture of food; or
  2. is carried on by an entity other than a non-profit organisation and involves the sale of unpackaged food by retail; or
  3. is carried on by a non-profit organisation and involves the sale, on at least 12 days each financial year, of meals prepared by the organisation at a particular place.

Mobile food premises and temporary food stalls are also required to be licensed if they fit any of the above categories.

Under the Food Act 2006, licences cannot be transferred from one operator to another.  If an operator owns more than one food premises, each premises must be licensed individually.

Food premises must be approved and licensed with Council before they can be operated from.

Exemptions to licensing

Certain food businesses are exempt from licensing requirements.  These include:

  • the production of primary produce under an accreditation granted under the Food Production (Safety) Act 2000 – including meat, diary, seafood and egg schemes
  • the handling or sale of fisheries resources under a buyer licence issued under the Fisheries Regulation 1995, except where the seafood is cooked
  • the sale of unpackaged snack food, such as biscuits, cakes, confectionary, nuts and potato chips that are not potentially hazardous food
  • the sale of whole fruit or vegetables
  • the sale of seeds, spices, dried or glazed fruit, dried herbs, tea leaves, coffee beans or ground coffee
  • the grinding of coffee beans
  • the sale of drinks (other than fruit or vegetable juice processed at the place of sale) including, for example, tea, coffee, soft drinks and alcohol
  • the sale of ice, including flavoured ice, such as slurpees and snow cones or bags of party ice
  • the provision of meals by a non-profit organization that are prepared by someone other than the organization and are stored and heated or otherwise prepared by the organization in accordance with the directions of the meal’s manufacturer
  • the sale of food, by a non-profit organization, that is prepared as part of an educational or training activity conducted by the organization involving food preparation, hospitality or catering.

While these food businesses are exempt from the licensing requirements and associated provisions, such as food safety supervisors and food safety programs, they are still required to comply with all other aspects of the Food Act 2006 and the Food Standards Code, including the Food Safety Standards.  These food businesses may be inspected, if needed, and are subject to the same offences and enforcement methods as licensed food businesses.

If you are unsure if your food business is required to be licensed, please contact Council’s Environmental Health Services on (07) 4783 9800 to discuss any requirements that may apply to you.

Food Safety Factsheets

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