Food safety

Loddon Shire Council’s Public Health Officer works with food premises operators including community groups to ensure the safety of food being sold within Loddon Shire.

In this section you will find information about Council’s role in food safety, buying a food business, establishing a new food business and operating a temporary food stall.

Council and food safety

Businesses and community groups that sell, transport, store or make food must be registered by law.

Food safety inspections

Council’s Public Health Officers inspects registered food premises to make sure food safety standards are being maintained.

Some examples of different registered food premises are:

  • food manufacturers
  • milk bars
  • supermarkets
  • takeaways
  • nursing homes and hospitals
  • food stalls at festivals
  • food vehicles
  • school and club canteens, and
  • pubs and clubs

Food sampling program

Council undertakes an annual food sampling program during which the Public Health Officer submits food purchased from premises within Loddon Shire for analysis to an accredited testing laboratory for analysis.

The food is analysed to check food safety and compliance with regulations and standards.

The number of samples Council is required to take is determined by the Department of Health.

Food safety complaints

Council investigates food safety complaints about food hygiene, foreign object contamination, suspected food poisoning and food handling.

Food recalls

A food recall is where the Victorian Department of Health, generally in conjunction with the manufacturer, decides that food is unsafe for sale and it needs to be recalled. The reasons for a recall can include:

  • microbiological or chemical contamination
  • presence of foreign matter
  • labelling errors and packaging defects
  • undeclared allergens.

Council receives information from the Department of Health about products that need to be recalled.

Council may contact businesses that are known to use or sell the recalled food products and ensure that they are not used and are removed from sale.

Food businesses involved in a food recall must carefully follow instructions from Council and the Department of Health for the removal of food from their shelves.

Further information can be obtained from the Department of Health and Food Standards Australia and New Zealand.

Food businesses not governed by Council

Some food businesses are not governed by Council, but by other authorities. If a business predominantly does one of the activities listed below, it should contact the relevant authority.


  • meat or game handling or processing, poultry handling or processing, for example, a butcher
  • fish and seafood handling or processing, for example, a fishmonger or seafood shop

Registration Authority - Primesafe


  • cheese manufacturing or processing dairy products i.e. milk

Registration Authority - Dairy Food Safety Victoria


Establishing, renewing, closing a food premises

Starting a new business is an exciting time; however it’s important to understand the legal requirements imposed by the Food Act and Food Safety Standards for your new operation.

Information on starting a food business in Victoria can be found on the Department of Health webpage Starting a Food Business.

Renewing your Food Act registration

Registered premises are sent an application to renew their registration and an invoice each August.

You are required to review the information contained on the application form, complete any blank sections and sign it. Once complete, the paperwork and payment for your registration renewal can be returned to Council.

If you fail to pay your registration by 30 September you will be charged a late fee.

Failure to renew registration may risk a lapse in registration. You may need to make a new application to re-register.

It is an offence to trade without current registration.

Closing your food premises

To assist Council in keeping the register of food premises up to date, premises that cease trading are required to notify Council in writing.

The notification should detail the trading name, premises address, the proprietor name and contact information, and the closure date.

The notification can be sent by mail attention to Public Health Department or by email

Buying an existing food business

Before you buy an existing food business, Council strongly recommends that you seek and obtain a Food Act transfer inspection report. Council’s Public Health Officer performs this inspection.

The Food Act transfer inspection report will detail all non-compliances with the requirements of the Food Act, Food Standards Code and the Food Safety Standards.

There is a fee associated with such an inspection and you will need the current proprietor to sign a form to release information

How to obtain a Food Act transfer inspection report

  1. Provide Council with a Request an inspection of a registered premises form, which includes a consent to disclose signed by the current operator, and the required fee
  2. Council conducts an inspection of the food business
  3. After the inspection, Council sends you or your solicitor a typed copy of the report Food Act transfer inspection.

Transfer of Food Act registration   

The Food Act no longer permits transfer of registrations, instead the current registration is closed and a new registration is started.

The current business operator should email Council’s Public Health Officer ( to advise that they have sold the business. After this notification has been received, Council will cancel the Food Act registration for the premises.

The new food business operator should complete an application to register your premises. Please contact Council’s Public Health Officer should you require assistance



Information for food businesses

The Food Business section of the Department of Health website is the best source of information for food business operators. The site contains up to date information on topics including the food business classification scheme, food safety program requirements, food handler training, food labelling, egg safety and much more.   

Information for Community Groups

The Food Act applies to food that is being sold by community groups even if it’s to raise funds.

The community groups page ( of the Department of Health website is a great source of information for Community Groups wanting to sell food. The site contains up to date information on topics that are relevant for community groups that are running any type of event, which includes food.     

Food stalls and events

Under the Victorian Food Act 1984 a food stall or mobile food van is considered a food business and as such must be registered with the municipality in which the premise (i.e. stall or van) is based. This also applies to food stalls which operate at various community events and festivals. Examples of food stalls include sausage sizzle, wine tasting, cake stalls and the sale of fresh produce.

Under the Food Act 1984 a statewide, single registration enables food stalls, mobile food premises and food vending machines to operate anywhere in Victoria.

These food businesses must be registered (as a food stall, mobile food premises or vending machine) in the municipality in which they are based (or garaged). Class 4 food businesses which are exempt from registration are still required to notify their local Council of their operation.

Once you are registered or have notified the Council of your operation you are required to lodge a statement of trade each time you operate. Your statement of trade must be submitted at least one business day prior to your event. This means for events that are being held on a weekend your statement to trade must be lodged prior to the close of business on the Thursday preceding your event.

The Victorian State Government have introduced an online system known as StrEATrader for the management of food stalls, mobile food premises and food vending machines that should be used to make applications to Council, notify Council and submit statements of trade.

When an online application for registration is completed through StrEATrader, Council will contact you and advise you of the applicable fee as well as arrange for any required inspection.

All food stalls, mobile food premises and food vending machines may be subject to inspection by a Public Health Officer. Food safety programs (where applicable) must also be up to date and available at the stall at all times.

Loddon Mallee temporary food premises guidelines(PDF, 3MB)

Honey production and sales

The Food Act 1984 requires individuals and/or businesses involved in honey production and sales to be registered with Council.

Registration under Food Act 1984

Your premises will need to meet various structural/fit out requirements prior to registration. Please contact Council’s Public Health Officer to discuss your honey production business and arrange an inspection of your premises so that you can be given advice regarding your specific operation and give you specific advice.

Contamination of honey

Contamination of honey can occur from two sources - chemical and biological hazards.

Chemical contamination of honey can be caused from poorly used disease and pest control chemicals, poorly applied chemical bee repellents and storage of honey in unclean or unsuitable containers.

Biological or bacterial contamination can occur due to poor personal hygiene and sanitation procedures during handling and processing.

General contamination can occur during the different stages of the honey production process. To prevent this from occurring, the following procedures should be followed.

Steps to minimise contamination

Extraction :

The equipment and containers must be clean and dry prior to use


Fine mesh strainers are to be used when filtering the honey


  • Only use food grade containers, equipment and utensils (that is non-toxic and capable of being cleaned)
  • Do not use zinc/galvanized drums for long term use
  • Keep storage containers in a clean area
  • Containers to be washed and dried prior to filling
  • Thought must be given to the acidic nature of honey when choosing containers, equipment and utensils for use in honey production
  • Do not store above 45°C

 Building Design

  • The building used for honey production should be of solid construction and maintained in good repair
  • All surfaces, fixtures and fittings should be constructed of a smooth and impervious material which enables adequate cleaning
  • The building should prevent the entrance and harbouring of animals, pests, vermin and birds
  • A pest control program must be maintained on the premises
  • Living areas, toilets and areas where animals reside should be kept separate and not open directly to the honey handling area
  • Adequate lighting should be provided
  • Potable water supply should be available
  • Hand washing facilities must have an adequate supply of hot and cold water through a single outlet
  • For large-scale production, hand washing facilities separate from the wash up sink should be provided
  • Liquid soap and paper towel should be provided at the hand washing facilities

Personal Hygiene

  • Do not work if suffering from a communicable disease
  • Provide hot and cold water at all sinks; provide liquid soap and paper towel at each hand wash sink
  • Open wounds should be covered with a brightly covered bandage and a clean disposable glove
  • Hands must be washed regularly e.g.
    • after going to the toilet
    • after eating/smoking
    • after being outside
    • before commencing handling of honey
  • Wear clean protective clothing when handling honey
  • Jewellery should not be worn
  • Smoking is not permitted in the same area as honey production

Registration requirements with Department Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR)

Additional to the registration requirements under the food Act any person keeping one or more hives of bees is required by the Livestock Disease Control Act (1994) to register as a beekeeper with Department Jobs, Precincts and Regions.

Please contact the Department Jobs, Precincts and Regions for further advice.