Compliance and enforcement of WA food businesses

WA local governments and the Department of Health are the enforcement agencies for various food businesses across WA.

Local government enforcement agencies

Local governments are responsible for the administration of the Food Act, the Food Regulations and the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code and are the enforcement agencies for most food businesses within their local districts. This includes:

  • cafes, restaurants, grocery stores, supermarkets and food retail outlets
  • food prepared in a residential home intended for sale
  • mobile food vans
  • school canteens, childcare centres
  • charities, community groups and volunteers that are selling food
  • private hospitals and aged care facilities
  • pet meat
  • abattoirs / boning rooms (that do not export)
  • egg producers
  • markets and temporary events
  • seafood primary production and processing (except bivalve molluscs)
  • food manufacturers 

Department of Health

Under the Food Act and Food Regulations the Chief Executive Officer is the enforcement agency for the following food businesses:

  • public hospitals where food is prepared for patients in the hospital
  • dairy (primary production, processing, and transportation)
  • primary production and processing of bivalve molluscs
  • food businesses not within a district (Kings Park and Rottnest, WA Athletic Stadium and the WA Basketball Centre)
  • processors of meat and poultry and seafood, including shellfish, that export overseas
  • Controlling Authority for knackeries, rending plants, gamemeat field depots all forms of abattoirs that meat for export overseas

Compliance and enforcement strategy

Enforcement agencies are advised to adopt a strategic approach to the application of legislative enforcement provisions by developing a compliance and enforcement strategy or policy.  This will ensure consistency in enforcement action taken.

Compliance and enforcement action should be a graduated approach of enforcement options, generally commencing with milder options such as issuing an improvement notice and then progressively moving to more severe enforcement options such as prosecution. 

The enforcement option will depend on inherent risks and the overall performance of the food business.

The compliance and enforcement tools available to enforcement agencies under the food legislation include:


To guide the development of compliance and enforcement policies, local governments may use:

Last reviewed: 12-10-2020
Produced by

Environmental Health Directorate