Food businesses

Overview

Notice to all food businesses – keeping customers’ food safe during COVID-19 outbreak

Food businesses are legally required by the Commonwealth Government from 23 March 2020 to offer takeaway options only, as a result of COVID-19. In response, the following important advice is available for food businesses to assist in keeping their customers and staff safe from food contamination.

Unless you have specific conditions on your certificate of registration as a food businesses, there are no restrictions on food businesses offering takeaway and/or delivery services (including via a third-party service such as Uber Eats). However, under the Prime Minister’s new rules related to cafes and restaurants, it is important to note that food can ONLY be sold via takeaway and/or for home-delivery services. Customers must not eat their takeaway food at tables and chairs provided by the business, including at outside tables.

Download the Allergen Labelling for Delivered Meals fact sheet(PDF, 133KB)

 

Safe handling of food:

Food Standards Australia NZ’s Food Standards Code – which is enforceable by law – requires all food businesses to:

  • provide a dedicated hand-basin to staff handling food so that they can work hygienically.
  • ensure that all eating and drinking utensils and all food contact surfaces are cleaned and sanitised. Food businesses should also review their cleaning and sanitising practices to ensure “high-touch” surfaces such as door handles, refrigerator handles, and tap handles receive frequent and effective cleaning.
  • protect all food from contamination whilst transporting it and to keep food under appropriate temperature control. Always use food-grade containers – including tubs, eskies or hot boxes – which can close to protect the food from contamination.

If your food business chooses to temporarily close at this time, we recommend disposing of, or taking home, perishable foods. Alternatively, you should consider donating any “in-date food” to a recognised charity.

 For more information, please refer to Food Standards Australia NZ’s food safety information

The safety and quality of food is regulated and monitored by the Department of Health and Human Services in conjunction with local councils. Under the requirements of the Tasmanian Food Act 2003, food premises are required to be registered by their respective Local Government Authority. 

The sale of food in Tasmania requires a licence, whether you have a fixed premises, a business that moves around (e.g. a mobile food truck) or a temporary food business.

We offer information on how to notify the City of Hobart, register your food business and advice on safety and training. 

Notification of a food business

All businesses selling food in the City of Hobart, are required to notify Council. 

Our Environmental Health Unit uses the details you provide in your notification to provide food safety information or assistance and follow up during food recalls, and to determine whether or not you need to register your food business.

A fee for notification is $20. Simply complete and submit the online Food business application form. If you need to register your food business, we will contact you. A printable form is available on our forms page.

A small amount of business activity is allowed in domestic homes. The requirements for a home-based food business will depend on the type and quantity of food that will be prepared.

To request an initial assessment of your home-based food business proposal, please complete the attached form(PDF, 72KB) and send it to coh@hobartcity.com.au.

Registration of a food business

To register your new food business, please complete and submit the online Food business application form. A printable form is available on our forms page. There is also a fee to register. 

If you are registering a food business for the first time, one of our Environmental Health Officers will inspect your premises before issuing a Certificate of Registration of a Food Business. You need the certificate before opening for business. 

Please note that if you have not operated a food business before you are encouraged to complete some food handler training available at I’M ALERT Interactive Online Training.

Taking over an existing business

If you are purchasing an existing food business you will need to complete the online  Food business application form as Food Business Registrations are not transferable. A printable form is available on our forms page.

You may also like to consider having a pre-purchase inspection done. This will provide you with a report of any structural items that may need to be repaired/ replaced while you have the business. To request a pre-purchase inspection you need to complete the form and have it signed by the current proprietor of the business. There is a cost associated with this inspection.

Risk classification

When you apply for a food licence your business will be assigned a risk classification of low, medium or high risk. This risk classification is regularly reviewed during routine inspections. 

Risk classification is based on: 

  • types of food being handled and sold

  • processing and handling methods

  • business size

  • whether your customers are from a high-risk population. 

The annual fees and inspection frequency for your business are based on this classification. 

Annual renewal of food registration

All registrations expire annually on 31 May. We will send you a renewal application form and fee information before the expiry date as well as one reminder. 

You must pay your application fee when you lodge your completed renewal or application form. 

Note: we can not process your renewal without a completed form and fee payment. 

You can view the current City of Hobart fees and charges.

Food safety

We investigate concerns relating to food businesses within the Hobart municipal area.

If you experience or observe any unacceptable practices in any food business located in Hobart please complete the food business complaint form at the bottom of the page.

Some of the matters we investigate are:

  • foreign matter found in food
  • poor personal hygiene
  • pest infestations
  • unclean food premises
  • food premise waste storage/refuse
  • poor food storage/handling practices.

 

Food poisoning

If you experience symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea after consuming food at a food business located within the Hobart municipal area, we will investigate the matter. If you consumed a meal at a food business located within another municipality, please contact the relevant council directly.

Common food poisoning bacteria such as Salmonella sp. and Campylobacter sp. have an incubation period (which is the period between being infected and developing symptoms) of 6–72 hours and 2–5 days, respectively. Therefore, we will need as much information from you as possible to assist us with the investigation.

It is strongly advised that you visit a doctor for a clinical diagnosis of the cause of your illness. Different food poisoning bacteria display different symptoms and incubation periods, and are often associated with different foods, so a confirmed diagnosis will assist our officers with their investigation.

You can let us know about an alleged food poisoning incident by completing the form online. A printable form is available on our forms page.

For current health alerts visit the Department of Health and Human Services website

Download the best practice food safety guidelines for delivery drivers in Hobart(PDF, 450KB)

Food business investigation request 

If you experience or observe any unacceptable practices in any food business located in Hobart, you can let us know by completing the form online. A printable form is available on our forms page

Please note this form is not to be completed in the event of alleged food poisoning, in this instance please refer to the Alleged food poisoning request.