Food Licenses and Permits
Businesses involved with the sale of unpackaged food are required to hold a food licence with Council. The following exceptions apply:
- Production of primary produce i.e. abattoir or dairy farm.
- The processing or sale of fisheries resources.
- Food businesses conducted by the State or a government owned corporation.
- Tuck shops operated by a parents and citizens association at a State School.
- Handling of food at a person's home that is intended to be given away to a non-profit organisation for sale by the organisation e.g. cakes made for fund-raising parents and citizens association at a school fete.
- Sale of unpackaged snack food that is not potentially hazardous food i.e. corn chips, potato chips, confectionery, nuts, dried or glazed nuts, biscuits and cakes (however the business where the biscuits and cakes are made needs to be licensed).
- Sale of whole fruit or vegetables.
- Sale of drinks other than fruit or vegetable juice processed at the place of sale i.e. tea, coffee, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks.
- Sale of ice including flavoured ice.
- Provision of meals by a non-profit organisation if the meals consists only of fruit, cereal, toast or similar food or the consumer of the meal helps prepare it.
- Sale of unpackaged food, not considered to be a meal, by a non-profit organisation i.e. BBQ sausage sizzle.
- Provision of meals by a non-profit organisation that are prepared by an entity other than the organisation and are stored and heated or otherwise prepared by the organisation in accordance with directions of the meal's manufacturer.
If you are starting a new food business, you will need to Contact Council and speak to Council's Building Section as well as Council's Trade Waste Officer.
- Building and Planning, phone 1300 763 903 or 07 4030 2222
- Council's Trade Waste Officer, phone 0447 794 153
The application form must be submitted to Council's Environmental Services Section with a copy of specifications and drawings, showing plans and elevations to a scale no smaller than 1:100. Where necessary, further detailed drawings will be required including sections sufficient in number and detail to effectively facilitate adequate assessment of the subject matter of the intended construction, renovation and fit-out of the premises.
Council's Environmental Health Officers will assess this application and will issue a conditional letter of approval for the construction of your food premises. When the construction requirements are close to being completed, contact Council's Environmental Services Section to arrange a final inspection by an Environmental Health Officer.
The Environmental Health Officer will either approve the final construction or issue a notice outlining a list of any outstanding requirements.
Food premises must comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Standard 3.2.3 Food Premises and Equipment. The Australian Standards for the Design, Construction and Fit Out of Food Premises can be used as a guideline to achieve compliance.
All licensed food businesses in Queensland must have a food safety supervisor. The food safety supervisor needs to have completed relevant units of competency applicable to the food business sector they work in. Training must be completed through a Registered Training Organisation.
Legal obligations and responsibilities of the Food Business Licensee are outlined in the Food Act 2006:
The Food Act 2006 requires the Food Business Licensee to comply with Food Safety Standards 3.1.1, 3.2.2 and 3.2.3.
There are penalties for not complying with the requirements of the Food Act 2006 and the Food Safety Standards.
If you plan to take over an existing food business, you may request Council's Environmental Health Officers to carry out a health search to ensure the structure of the food premises complies with requirements of the Food Safety Standards. To apply for a health search, lodge a business sale search and inspection form with the relevant fee:
Before you commence operations, you need to apply for a food business licence in the approved form and submitted with the relevant fee.
If you are intending to set up a market or festival stall for the sale of unpackaged food you will need to apply for a food licence to operate a temporary food stall, unless you are exempt from the requirement of a food licence.
To apply for a temporary food stall licence you are required to complete and submit an application form for a temporary food premises licence with the relevant fee:
Council's Environmental Health Officers will assess this application and will issue a licence if satisfied with the design of the food stall, facilities and equipment, food safety and hygiene practices to be used.
Food premises must comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Standard 3.2.3 Food Premises and Equipment:
A temporary food licence issued by the Cassowary Coast Regional Council does not cover the licensee to operate in other Council regions. This will be outlined in the conditions of the licence.
Council's Environmental Services Section licenses a range of home-based food activities to allow people to sell goods at festivals and markets. The preparation of the following foods is acceptable: chutneys, jams, cakes, biscuits and other similar snack food. The fee for this category of food business (Category 4) has been set substantially lower than for other food business licences. Any person wishing to carry out preparation of any other type of food from their home kitchen will need to contact a Council Environmental Health Officer.
To apply for a food licence you are required to submit an application for a food business licence with the appropriate application fee (Category 4). A plan of the kitchen is required to be submitted with the application. Prior to issuing a food licence, a Council Environmental Health Officer will arrange an inspection of the kitchen to assess its suitability for the preparation of food for sale. After the inspection the licence will either be granted or a notice will be issued outlining any outstanding requirements to be addressed to meet compliance.
Mobile food businesses include vehicles, trailers and boats which are operating as food businesses.
To apply for a food licence for a mobile food business, you are required to complete and submit the form below with the appropriate application fees and a plan drawn to scale of the layout of the premises including fixtures and fittings.
If you intend to set up your mobile food business on Council-controlled land, you will need to apply for an itinerant vendor's licence (see the Standing Stalls/Itinerant Vendors section of this web site for more information).
The following food businesses need food safety programs:
- Food businesses whose primary activity is on-site catering.
- Food businesses who carry out on-site catering activities for 12 or more events in a 12 month period for 200 or more people.
- Off-site caterers – businesses involved in the preparation of food for sale (includes serving, reheating etc.) at premises other than the principal place of business.
- Food businesses selling food to vulnerable population groups including private nursing homes, childcare centres, Meals On Wheels etc.
The Food Safety Program must be submitted to Council for accreditation with Form 3 - Application for Accreditation of a Food Safety Program and the relevant fee.
If Council is satisfied with the content of the Food Safety Program it will issue a notice of accreditation.