Guide to applying for a food business licence and registration

By Alfred White,2014-04-16 21:30
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Guide to applying for a food business licence and registration

    A guide

    to making application

    for a


    Design and Fit Out

    Licence (fixed, mobile, temporary)

    Restore, Amend, Replace


    Table of Contents

    SECTION 1 BACKGROUND INFORMATION...........................................................3

SECTION 2 APPLICATION PROCESS............................................................................4


SCHEDULE 1 FEES………………………………………………………………………………………..7


    SCHEDULE 3 WHERE TO GET HELP……………………………………………………………...…10



Food Legislation

    Queensland’s food legislation is designed to ensure consumers are provided with safe food while allowing

    food businesses a flexible approach to meeting food safety requirements.

    In Queensland, food legislation relevant to operating a food business includes:

?;Food Act 2006 (the ‘Act’),

    ?;Food Standards Code (the ‘Code’) including the Food Safety Standards

    ?;Standard 3.1.1 Interpretation and Application

    ?;Standard 3.2.2 Food Safety Practices and General Requirements

    ?;Standard 3.2.3 Food Premises and Equipment

    In addition, the following documents provide assistance in interpretation of or guidance to the legislation:

?;Safe Food Australia (Interpretation of the Food Safety Standards.)

    ?;Australian Standard 4674 Design, construction and fit-out of food premises

    Details of where to obtain copies of any of the above documents are listed in Schedule 4.

Who enforces the food legislation?

    Local Government Environmental Health Officers are responsible for enforcing the Food Safety Standards in Queensland. They also assist food businesses to understand the legislation and their legal requirements through training, onsite advice and newsletters or information sheets.

    Environmental Health Officers have specific powers under Food Act 2006, allowing them to enter a food business for an inspection, as well as questioning staff, seizing and removing items found, or ordering a food business to stop operating on the grounds of public health and safety.

What is licence?

    A licence is issued to a person who is responsible for the handling of food in a food business. The licence allows the person to handle food at a suitable premises, place or vehicle.

Do I need to apply for a licence?

    The following types of food businesses will generally be required to apply for a licence:

?;Retail food outlets

    ?;Manufacturers of food products

    ?;Caterers must be licensed

    ?;Charity food businesses that handle food may require a licence depending on frequency ?;Private residential facilities and hospitals

    ?;Temporary premises

    ?;Mobile food vehicles

    ?;Kiosks and canteens

    ?;Accommodation facilities

    ?;Outlets that handle unpackaged foods

    ?;Bed and breakfast facilities

    In addition, existing food premises intending to alter their design, construction or fit-out are required to seek approval from their local government prior to undertaking any works. This package and associated forms may be used for this purpose.


When do I make application?

    Applications are required to be made to the local government prior to the design and fit out and operation

    of the food business.

If you are not sure if you require a licence please contact Tablelands Regional Council’s, Environmental

    Section on (07) 4043 4100.;


    There are several steps to complete when applying to open and operate a food business. The application process to be followed will depend on which type of application is to be lodged. This section provides an overview of the process however; it is strongly recommended that an appointment is made with an Environmental Health Officer in order to guide the applicant through the process.

Pre-lodgement meeting

    Tablelands Regional Council provides a pre-lodgement service to assist applicants in understanding the requirements of the legislation and the application process. This service enables a meeting to take place between applicants and an Environmental Health Officer who will be involved in the assessment process. They are strongly recommended and are valuable in improving the application process. To arrange a pre-lodgement meeting, contact Tablelands Regional Council's Environmental Section on (07) 4043 4100.

Applications that you may require

    ; Application for Approval of Design and Fit Out of Food Business (including plan assessment) ; Application for Approval of Design and Fit Out of Food Business (without plan assessment) ; Application for Licence

    ; Application for Amendment of Licence

    ; Application for Restoratioin

    ; Application for Replacement

Which applications do you require?

    For a new food business with new fit out and or new building

    Application for Approval of Design and Fit Out of Food Business (including plan


    Application for Licence

    For a new food business in existing premises (ie Home Occupation)

     Application for Approval of Design and Fit Out of Food Business (no plan assessment)

    Application for Licence

    When purchasing an existing food business

     Application for Design and Fit Out (if renovating/altering setup)

     Application for Licence

    When operating a temporary food event/stall

    Application for Licence.

Complete the application form

    ; All sections of the Application Forms must be completed along with all relevant documentation,

    including plans, prior to commencing design and fit-out (of a new premises) or commencing

    operation (in an existing premises).

    ; Return to Tablelands Regional Council with plans, additional information and relevant fees.

How do I submit the application?

    Your application can be posted or lodged in person at Council’s office.

     Chief Executive Officer Chief Executive Officer

     Tablelands Regional Council 65 Rankin Street

     PO Box 154 Mareeba Q 4880

     Mareeba Q 4880;



What do I need to provide?

    Your application needs to include the following:

Completed 'Application for Approval of Design and Fit Out of Food Business’ form.

;;;Initial application fee for design and fit out (refer schedule 1 fees)

    ;;Two copies of the following plans will be required for each application. Plans must be to

    scale as indicated, neat and give an accurate representation of your premises:


     ;;Site Plan - (drawn to scale of not less than 1:100)

    For food premises, a site plan showing site location, waste storage, car parking, toilet

    facilities and adjacent land uses.

;;;Floor Plan - (drawn to scale of not less than 1:100)

    This should contain details of all equipment, fixtures and fittings. Sinks should be included in

    detail as single, double and approximate length, depth and width. Plans of cool rooms and

    freezer rooms (if applicable) must also be included. The floor plan should indicate the type

    of materials used i.e.: a schedule of finishes. (Please note that the more detail that is given,

    the easier the application is to assess).

;;;Sectional Elevations - (drawn to scale of not less than 1:50)

    These should indicate the height of structures, benches, floor clearances, equipment and

    fixtures, including fixtures, fittings and equipment within cool rooms/freezer rooms (if

    applicable) and should include details of the installation of fixtures and fittings, so that an

    adequate assessment of the application can be made.

;;;Hydraulic Plans - (drawn to scale of not less than 1:50)

    A copy of your approved, or to be approved, hydraulic plans should be provided.

;;;Mechanical Exhaust Ventilation Plans - (drawn to scale of not less than 1:50)

    If you are to install mechanical exhaust ventilation you will need to submit plans of the

    proposed ventilation system and documentation / certification that the mechanical exhaust

    ventilation system is designed, fitted and operates to AS 1668.2 (The use of ventilation and

    air conditioning in buildings).

;;;Transport Vehicle Plan - (drawn to scale of not less than 1:50)

    This should contain details of all equipment, fixtures and fittings. The plan should indicate the

    type of materials used.

Assessment of the application

    Once submitted to Tablelands Regional Council, your application will be assessed by an Environmental Health Officer to ensure that the proposed or existing premises (or vehicle) are suitable and will enable compliance with the Food Safety Standards. It is important to note that commencement of design and fit-out of a food business is not permitted until an approval is given. On approval of the plans a copy will be

    returned to the applicant and any conditions of approval will be either indicated on the plans or outlined in attached correspondence.

    The applicant will also be advised of the risk classification applicable to the proposed food business.

Re-submission of plans

    If the initial application is refused, you will be advised in writing and reasons for this refusal will be given. It will then be up to the applicant to re-submit the application for further assessment after dealing with the issues described in the refusal letter.

On Site Assessment / Final inspection

    On completion of the design and fit-out of your food premises you will need to contact the Tablelands Regional Council’s Environmental Health Officer to make an appointment for an inspection to be carried

    out to assess whether the premises have been designed and fitted out in accordance with the approved plans. The Environmental Health Officer will conduct an inspection to determine if the premises, place or vehicle are suitable.


    If it is noted that premises are not designed in accordance with plans, you may be required to submit amended plans to show accurate details of the design or fit-out or you may be asked to fit the premises out as per the plans. This may delay final approval. You must have a licence before you can commence trading.

Fees and charges

    Please refer to Schedule 1 Fee in the guidelines.

Ongoing inspections and assistance

    After your food business has commenced operation, an Environmental Health Officer will conduct inspections at regular intervals to ensure that the food business is operating in accordance with the Food Safety Standards. At this time, the Environmental Health Officer can also provide further advice to assist you in meeting these Standards.


    Before applying for a licence, you will need to have obtained the following approvals: ;

     Approval of Design and Fit Out of Food Business

What do I need to provide?

    Your application needs to include the following:

Completed 'Food Business Licence Application Form

;;;Appropriate Licence Fees

     after design fit out approval - see schedule 1 for details

;;Documented Food Recall System (if applicable);

     If your business wholesales, supplies, manufactures or imports food you will need to attach your

     Written recall plan with this application. The ‘Food Industry Recall Protocol: A guide to writing a

     Food recall plan and conducting a food recall’ may assist in preparing a food recall plan. - see

     Schedule 3 for details.


Licences are not transferable, a new licence application must be made.

    If you are buying or selling a food business, you can check with Tablelands Regional Council that there are no outstanding notices or orders on the food business by making an application for a search. This will provide a formal report on the conduct of the business prior to sale.

    In order to obtain information regarding the quality of fixtures and fittings and whether the business complies with the Food Safety Standards you will need to make application for a physical search accompanied by consent from current operator.

    Licensable Food Businesses must not be operated without a current licence.


Outdoor dining / Sandwich boards

    An outdoor dining permit / sandwich board permit may be required by Council's Local Law 17 Commercial Use of Roads if the area to be used is on land owned by Council. For more information on outdoor dining and sandwich board requirements, contact Council on 4043 4100.

Liquor licensing

    Liquor licensing permits are obtained from the Liquor Licensing Division of the Department of Tourism, Racing and Fair Trading. See Schedule 4 for details.






    INITIAL APPLICATION FEE* (Design & Fitout)

    ? ; Initial Application Fee (plan assessment necessary) $ 329.00 ; Initial Application Fee

    ? (no plan assessment or renovations to premises) $ 223.00


    ? ; Licence (Low Risk) $230.00

    ? ; Licence (Medium Risk) $396.00

    ? ; Licence (High Risk) $572.00


    ? ; Renewal of Licence (Low Risk) $209.00

    ? ; Renewal of Licence (Medium Risk) $236.00

    ? ; Renewal of Licence (High Risk) $474.00


    ? ; Application Fee - 1 event $ 62.00

    ? ; Application Fee - 1 year $233.00

No fees for charities and non-profit organisations (proof from ATO must be provided)




BCA Building Code of Australia

Coving means a curved junction of the wall with the ceiling or floor.

    Equipment - means a machine, instrument, apparatus, utensil or appliance, other than a single use item, used or intended to be used in or in connection with food handling and includes any equipment used or intended to be used to clean the food premises or equipment.

    Food business- means a business, enterprise or activity (other than primary food production) that involves:

    (a) the handling of food intended for sale

    (b) the sale of food,

    regardless of whether the business enterprise or activity concerned is of a commercial, charitable

    or community nature or whether it involves the handling or sale of food on one occasion only.

    Food handler - means any person who directly engages in the handling of food, or who handles surfaces likely to come into contact with food, for a food business.

    Food premises - means any premises including land, vehicles, parts of structures, tents, stalls and other temporary structures, boats, pontoons, including premises used principally as a private dwelling, but does not mean food vending machines or vehicles used only to transport food.

    FSS - Food Safety Standards. These are part of the Food Standards Code and define requirements for food premises on food handling practices and the structural requirements of food premises.

    Handling of food - includes the making, manufacturing, producing, collecting, extracting, processing, storing, transporting, delivering, preparing, treating, preserving, packing, cooking, thawing, serving or displaying of food.

    NHMRC is the National Health and Medical Research Council which funds health and medical research in Australia.

    Potable Water means water suitable for drinking.

    Potentially hazardous food - means food that has to be kept at certain temperatures to minimise the growth of any pathogenic micro-organisms that may be present in the food or to prevent the formation of toxins (e.g. meats, seafood, dairy products).

    Primary Food Production - is the growing, cultivation, picking, harvesting, collection or catching of food, and includes:

    (a) transport or delivery of food on, from or between the premises on which it was grown, cultivated,

    picked, harvested, collected or caught.

    (b) packing, treating (for example washing) or storing of food on the premises on which it was grown,

    cultivated, picked, harvested, collected or caught, and

    (c) any other food production activity prescribed by another Act.

    Safe and Suitable Food Food is considered unsafe if it is likely to cause physical harm to a person who might later consume it, assuming they treated the food correctly after purchase. Food is considered unsuitable if it is damaged, deteriorated or perished to an extent that affects its intended use e.g. out of date, contains a substance that is foreign to the nature of the food i.e. foreign matter or chemicals which may have fallen into the food, poor maintenance or poor storage of chemicals.

    Sanitising is a process that significantly reduces the number of micro-organisms present on a surface. This is usually achieved by the use of both heat and water or by chemical sanitisers.

Sell means:

    (a) barter, offer or attempt to sell

    (b) receive for sale

    (c) have in possession, display, send, forward or deliver for sale

    (d) dispose of for valuable consideration

    (e) dispose to an agent for sale on consignment

    (f) provide under contract of service

    (g) supply food as a meal or part of a meal to an employee for consumption at work (h) dispose of by way of raffle, lottery or other game of chance


(i) offer as a prize or reward

    (j) give away for the purpose of advertisement or in furtherance of trade (k) supply under a contract with accommodation, service or entertainment (l) give the food away from a food business to a person

    (m) sell for the purpose of resale

    SFA - Safe Food Australia - A guide to the Food Safety Standards. This guide explains what each of the Food Safety Standards means and uses examples to illustrate.

Sinks includes sinks for food preparation, cleaners sink, utensil and equipment washing, and personal

    hand washing basins.

Temperature control - means maintaining food at a temperature of:

    (a) 5?C, or below if this is necessary to minimise the growth of infectious or toxigenic micro-

    organisms in the food so that the microbiological safety of the food will not be adversely affected

    for the time the food is at that temperature.

    (b) 60?C or above

    (c) Another temperature- if the food business demonstrates that maintenance of the food at this

    temperature for the period of time for which it is so maintained, will not adversely affect the

    microbiological safety of the food.

    Please note that definitions are taken directly from legislation.

    Eating Establishment: Means a restaurant, café or similar food business that involves

    the preparation and service of food on the order of a person for

    immediate consumption by the person.

    Food Business: Means a business, enterprise or activity (other than primary

    food production)that involves:

    (a) the handling of food intended for sale;

    (b) the sale of food.

    Handing of Food: Includes the making, manufacturing, producing, collection,

    extracting, processing, storing, transporting, delivering,

    preparing, treating, preserving, packing, cooking, thawing,

    serving or displaying of food.

    Mobile Premises: For a food business, means premises that are a vehicle from

    which a person sells unpackaged food by retail.

    Off-site Catering: In relation to a food business, means serving potentially

    hazardous food at a place other than the principal place of

    business for the food business. Off-site catering does not


    (a) merely delivering food under an arrangement

     with, or on the order of, a consumer

     (e.g. delivering pizzas from a takeaway

     pizza shop); or

    (b) the sale of food from mobile premises or

     temporary premises (e.g. the sale of ice-

     creams from a mobile ice-cream van).

    On-site Catering: In relation to a food business, means preparing and serving

    potentially hazardous food, to all consumers of the food at the

    premises from which the business is carried on, under an

    agreement under which the food is:

    (a) of a predetermined type;

    (b) for a predetermined number of person;

    (c) served at a predetermined time; and

    (d) for a predetermined cost.

    On-site catering does not include:

    (a) preparing and serving food at an eating

     establishment; or

    (b) merely preparing and displaying food for

     self-service by consumers (eg. Preparing

     food for consumption from a buffet at a


    Temporary Premises: For a food business, means premises other than fixed premises

    or mobile premises, and includes, for example, a stall or a tent.



For assistance from Council with this application, please contact:

Tablelands Regional Council

    Environmental Section

    65 Rankin Street

    Mareeba Qld 4880

(07) 4030 3940

Other information to provide guidance for your application is listed below

    Guidelines and Legislation Web address Available from:

    Food Act 2006 Government Printing Office (Go


    Phone (07) 3246 3399 Food Production (Safety) Act


Food Production (Safety)

    Regulation 2002

    Food Standards Code Standards Australia New

    andardscode/ Zealand

    Phone (02) 6271 2222 Food Safety Standards


    ‘Safe Food Australia - A Guide to Food Safety Standards’ afetystandardsaustraliaonly/foods


    ‘Food Industry Recall Protocol A to writing a food recall plan ssurveillance/foodindustryrecallprand conducting a food recall’ otocol5theditionseptember2002/in


    An application package and guide Tableland Regional Council for the licensing of fixed food 65 Rankin Street premises - Food Act 2006 Mareeba Qld 4880 An application package and guide Tableland Regional Council for the licensing of Mobile Food 65 Rankin Street Premises under the Food Act Mareeba Qld 4880 2006

    An application package and guide Tableland Regional Council for the licensing of Temporary 65 Rankin Street Food Premises under the Food Mareeba Qld 4880 Act 2006

Useful Websites / Contacts

    Building Code of Australia 1996 Australian Building Codes Board

    Phone (07) 1300 134 631

    Business Licences and

    Registration s/global/content.cfm?ID=173

    Liquor licensing permit Liquor Licensing Division of the

    Department of Tourism, Racing

    and Fair Trading

    Phone (07) 3224 7024 Smart licence of State Development

    s/slol/ Phone (07) 13 26 50


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