COVID-19 advice for food businesses

Guidance is available for a range of food businesses to assist in meeting minimum standards and prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Food businesses

In Victoria, any business that sells food or drink must be registered through their local council and follow regulations to ensure that the food they sell is safe to eat.

Under the Victorian Food Act 1984 you must register the premises where your food is prepared for sale (or provided as part of a service).

This includes:

  • cafes
  • restaurants
  • domestic kitchens
  • mobile food vehicles
  • food stalls
  • grocers
  • supermarkets
  • child care centres
  • aged care facilities
  • similar businesses

Buying an existing food business

If you are purchasing an existing food business, we recommend you apply for a transfer of Food Business permit and request for a pre-sale inspection.

Setting up or altering your food business

  1. If you are a new food business or an existing business wanting to make changes, you must first contact our Planning or Building Unit to check if other permits are required.
  2. We recommended you submit an application to our Health Unit for pre-approval before any structural works or refurbishments commencing on any building or premises.
  3. Our Health Unit will access your application subject to compliance with the Food Standards Australia New Zealand - Standard 3.2.3 (Food Premises and Equipment).

You cannot legally operate a food business unless you satisfy all requirements under the Act and granted a Food Act registration.

Trade waste agreements

All commercial and home based food businesses must also ensure they have a Trade Waste agreement with Yarra Valley Water. Please read these documents or visit Yarra Valley Water for more information

  1. Icon for application/pdf Wastewater management requirements for a food business (339.49 KB)
  2. Icon for application/pdf Trade Waste Services - Application Form (1.46 MB)

New commercial food businesses

  1. Before you submit your application to our Health Unit, you must contact our Statutory Planning Department to ensure you don't need other permits
  2. We have more information on Icon for application/pdf Commercial Food Business Fact Sheet (493.04 KB)on how to apply and the registration process
  3. Apply online for a food business pre-approval 
  4. Download and complete the Icon for application/pdf Supporting documentation for food premises (231.89 KB) which is required in your application to register as a food business

New home based food businesses 

  1. Before you submit your application to our Health Unit, you must contact our Statutory Planning Department to determine that your home is suitable for a Home Occupation and does not breach planning regulations;
  2. Find out how to apply for a home based business with our Health Unit by reading Icon for application/pdf Home Based Food Business Fact Sheet (192.61 KB)
  3. Apply online for home based pre approval 
  4. Download and complete the Icon for application/pdf Planning requirements for home based food businesses (411.4 KB) and Icon for application/pdf Supporting documentation for food premises (231.89 KB) which is required in your application to register as a food business

Food business risk classifications

Before our Health Unit will register your business, we will identify which risk classification your business may fall under. Below are examples of the four types of food risk classifications:

  • Class 1: hospitals, childcare or aged care facilities etc.;
  • Class 2: retail purposes, restaurants, cafes, community groups making high risk food
  • Class 3: biscuits, bakeries (bread,flour-based only), fruit stalls, green grocers 
  • Class 4: low-risk food, bottled water, canned soft drinks, uncut fruit or vegetables

For more detailed information on risk classifications, please go to Food Premises Classification System

Food business fees and charges

Our fees and charges for all food business related services are listed in this document Icon for application/pdf Fees and charges (295.88 KB)

Class 4 - Pre-packaged low risk foods

If you fall under class 4, you only need to submit a Icon for application/pdf Class 4 Notification of a Food Premises (109.51 KB)to us. We may request further information to determine you are not a higher classification.

Food safety programs and templates requirements

Food safety supervisors requirements

  • Class 1 and Class 2 food businesses must nominate a Food Safety Supervisor who has completed recognised training. You must submit their Statement of Attainment to Council when registering. The training must meet the Minimum Competency Standards.
  • To find Recognised Training Organisations (RTO's) visit My Skills.
  • If you are a Class 2 Community Group / Not For Profit organisation you are exempt from the Food Safety Supervisor requirement unless you operate for more than two consecutive days.

Closure of a food business / refund policy

  • Refunds for annual registration fees are available only where a food business closes permanently.
  • Refunds do not apply to the transfer of a 'Registered Premises' to a new operator. 

On receiving written advice of business closure before 1 April, 50% of the registration paid will be refunded to the proprietor. On receiving written advice of business closure before 1 July, 25% of the registration paid will be refunded to the proprietor.
No refund is available after 1 July.

Email your closure advice to and must include the proprietors name, address and bank account details including BSB and A/C.

Contact our Health Unit

For more information on food businesses and how to register, please contact our friendly Environmental Health Officers on 9840 9333.

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