Food premises and safety

Starting a new food business

A food business is any organisation that sells food or drink.

In Victoria, all food businesses must be registered through their local Council and follow regulations to ensure that the food they sell is safe to eat.

A small number of businesses do not need to register with their Council, but the Council still must be notified of their activities.

The following must be considered when opening a food premises business:

If you want to start a food business, contact council's environmental health unit on 03 5422 0333.  They will classify your food business, explain what your requirements are under that classification and inform you of anything else you need to do. Complete an Application to register a food premises form(DOCX, 176KB) / Application to register a food premises form(PDF, 571KB) and pay the prescribed fee.

Buying an existing food premises?

As of 1 July 2021, if you purchase an existing food business you can no longer transfer the existing food registration. You must now apply for a new food registration (see ‘Starting a new food business’ section on this page).

If you are considering buying an existing business, it is possible to obtain information on the current condition of the business and any issues that that have been identified through inspections by an Environmental Health Officer. Consent from the existing owner must be obtained before Council can formally release information to a third party.

This information can be obtained by completing the Pre-purchase inspection form(DOCX, 168KB) / Pre-purchase inspection form(PDF, 229KB) that must be completed by both the existing owner and the person who the information is to be released to.   

Do I need a Food Safety Program?

A food safety program is a written document that shows how a business is managing the safety of the food prepared, served, manufactured or sold. All Victorian food businesses (Class 1 and 2) are required to have a food safety program before food business registration can be granted. 

The Department of Health Victoria provide food safety templates which are an easy way for food premises to write a food safety program.

You will also need to nominate a food safety supervisor when you submit your food safety program. This person will be responsible for the implementation of the food safety program.

Temporary / Mobile food premises and water transport vehicles

Streatrader is a state-wide registration and notification scheme for temporary and mobile food premises, including water transport vehicles.

To legally operate a temporary or mobile food premises or water transport vehicle at events such as festivals, markets, exhibitions, single temporary stalls, fetes or sausage sizzles (in Victoria), you must:

  • register or notify your temporary and mobile food premises with your local council in order to operate anywhere in Victoria
  • lodge a statement of trade (SOT) to let the relevant councils know where and when you will be trading in their districts.

Examples of those who need to register via Streatrader include:

  • Businesses selling food from a temporary site, such as a market or a festival stall
  • Businesses selling, giving away or sampling food at an exhibition or a trade show from a stall
  • Farmers selling produce at markets from a stall
  • Home-based business selling baked goods at markets
  • Mobile food vans or trucks
  • Coffee vans
  • Vending machine business
  • Water carters
  • Community groups hosting a sausage sizzle or cake stall
  • Community groups selling food at a market or a festival
  • Community groups cooking and selling food from a food truck or a trailer
  • Schools holding a fete or festival.

To register or notify Council please use the online system Streatrader.