Exempted food businesses

Food Act 2008 fact sheet 3

Version 1 December 2009

Introduction

The Food Act 2008 (the Act) (external site) provides for certain types of food businesses to be exempt from the requirements of registration. These types of food businesses are prescribed within the Food Regulations 2009 (external site).

Exempted food businesses, not subject to registration requirements, are still subject to the notification requirements contained within Standard 3.2.2 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (external site).

However exempted food businesses must still notify the appropriate enforcement agency of their intention to undertake food business activities prior to doing so.

How does an exempted food business notify?

To notify an exempted food business, the following information must be submitted to the appropriate enforcement agency:

  • contact details of the food business including
    • the name of the food business
    • the name and business address of the proprietor of the food business
  • the nature of the food business
  • the location of all food premises of the food business that are within the jurisdiction of the enforcement agency
  • any other information deemed necessary by the enforcement agency
  • any fee set by the enforcement agency.

Enforcement agencies will have their own notification form so it is important to contact the appropriate agency to determine their notification requirements.

What is the purpose of notification?

Notification ensures that anyone handling food intended for sale is provided with appropriate information and guidance on how to prepare food safely.

It also assists such persons in understanding their legal obligations in relation to selling food to the public.

The notification process also ensures that enforcement agencies are aware of all food business activities being conducted within their district, which is important for food safety surveillance and compliance activities.

What types of food businesses are exempted from registration?

The Food Regulations prescribe a number of food businesses as exempted from registration. These are businesses that:

  • are conducted solely for charitable or community purposes and prepare food that is not potentially hazardous or foods that, after being appropriately cooked, are served for immediate consumption (regulation 10)
    • sell certain packaged food (regulation 11)
  • provide complimentary drinks in conjunction with another kind of business (regulation 12)
  • form part of premises registered under the Australian Government’s Export Control Act 1982 (regulation13).

Is there a fee for notification?

With the exception of food businesses conducted solely for charitable and community purposes, an enforcement agency can impose and recover a fee for notification under the Local Government Act 1995 Part 6 Division 5 Subdivision 2.

Information for enforcement agencies

  • All food businesses must comply with the requirements of the Food Act. The exemption for certain food businesses only applies to the requirement for registration. All of the enforcement and compliance mechanisms available to enforcement agencies under the Food Act can still be utilised for exempted food businesses.
  • Each enforcement agency must prepare and maintain a list of food business notified to the agency in respect of any premises.
  • Section 107 only applies to those food businesses that fit within the categories of exemptions contained within the Food Regulations. All other food businesses must apply for registration under Section 110 of the Food Act. This section provides the mechanism for approval of a food business. Section 108(b) specifically states that any food business that is required to be registered is exempt from Section107 and the notification requirements of Standard 3.2.2 clause 4 of the Code.

More information

For more information on the requirements in relation to registration contact the environmental health officer at the local government authority in the area the food premises are to be located.

You can also phone the Food Unit on 9388 4999.

Alternatively you can fill out a Food Unit query form and return it to foodunit@health.wa.gov.au

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Public Health