Food Safety & Regulation

The Health Protection Service manages food safety issues within the ACT.

The Health Protection Service regulates food businesses, develops food regulation & policy and provides information for food businesses and the community.

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On this Page:

Update for Community Groups Selling Food at Fundraisers | Multicultural Food Festival 2014 | Kilojoule Displays | Food Safety Resources | Licensing and Registration | Closure Notices | Register of Food Offences | Food Safety Supervisors | ‘Scores on Doors’ | Helpful Food Links | Contact Us

Update for Community Groups Selling Food at Fundraisers

On 21 November 2013, the ACT Minister for Health, Katy Gallagher MLA announced that food businesses that are non-profit community organisations, operating temporary food stalls and only selling lower risk foods (i.e. BBQ foods) and/or non-potentially hazardous foods (e.g. biscuits, plain breads) will be exempt from the requirement to register and have a Food Safety Supervisor. This change to the regulation of food sold at fundraisers will require amendments to the current legislation.

Whilst this legislative work is being undertaken the Health Protection Service will ensure that its approach to regulating temporary food stalls is in line with the Minister’s announcement.

For further information, please call the Health Protection Service on 6205 1700 or email hps@act.gov.au

Note: Temporary food businesses are those that are set up to handle or sell food for occasional events (e.g. festivals, shows, fetes or recreation) usually lasting a day or a weekend. For instance, a fundraising BBQ held every weekend of the year by a non profit community organisation would be considered temporary.

Multicultural Food Festival 2014

The Health Protection Service has prepared the following guides for the stalls at the Multicultural Food Festival. The information is intended to ensure stall operators provide safe food to their customers.

Download: Food Handling and Food Safety (November 2013) (PDF File - 177k)
Checklist for Food Stall Operators (December 2013) (PDF File - 164k)
Stall setup and requirements (December 2013) (PDF File - 133k)
Food Safety Training and Notification (December 2013) (PDF File - 134k)

Attention Food Stall Operators: The Health Protection Service highly recommends that all food stalls at the National Multicultural Festival selling high risk food appoint a designated food handler who has completed the free online, 'I'M ALERT' food safety training.

Please refer to the Food Safety Training and Notification factsheet above for more information.

For further information please contact the Health Protection Service during normal business hours:

Ph: 62051700

Fax: 62051705

Email: hps@act.gov.au

Kilojoule Displays

From 1 January 2013, certain ACT food businesses (e.g. larger ‘fast food’ and snack chains) will be required to display the kilojoule (kJ) content of their standard food items.

For more information on the upcoming laws, please visit the Kilojoule Display page.

Food Safety Resources

Food Safety Resources such as posters and information sheets provide a quick overview of the essential information you need to know regarding various food safety matters.

The Food Safety Newsletter “Act on Food Safety” is also available under the Food Safety Resources page.

‘Act on Food Safety’ is a routine newsletter developed by the Health Protection Service for local businesses. The newsletter helps to keep businesses informed about food safety including changes to the Food Standards Code.

All food safety resources are available for personal or business use to deliver food safety messages.

Safe Food Australia - A Guide to the Food Safety Standards

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (formerly known as Australia New Zealand Food Authority) has developed a guide to assist with the interpretation of the food safety standards in Chapter 3 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. The guide titled Safe Food Australia can be found on the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website.

Licensing and Registration

It is a requirement under the Food Act 2001 that all food businesses be registered in the ACT. Registrations are issued annually by the Health Protection Service. For more information about registering a permanent or temporary food business in the ACT, please see the Food Business Registration page.

Closure Notices

Food businesses if closed under a prohibition order for breaching the Food Act will have a closure notice displayed at public entrances. Closure notices are a transparency measure that is placed at the business’ trading site, usually on a window or door, informing members of the public that a prohibition order is in effect.

All closure notices are removed when the conditions of the prohibition order are addressed. Please note that the Health Directorate will not publish details of businesses served with a prohibition order or closure notice on this website.

Register of Food Offences

The ACT Government Health Directorate may undertake prosecutions against individuals or businesses that have breached the Food Act 2001. This information is published on a public register administered by the Health Directorate.

Food Safety Supervisors

To address the emerging gaps in food safety knowledge, all registered food businesses will be required to appoint a food safety supervisor from August 2013. A food safety supervisor is a person who has advanced training and knowledge in food safety and has the ability to oversee the safe handling of food.

Visit Food Safety Supervisors for further information and relevant forms.

‘Scores on Doors’

The Health Protection Service is exploring the possible introduction of a food safety rating scheme that would improve food hygiene standards and regulatory transparency.

The below Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS), prepared by consulting firm KPMG in May 2012, assesses the possible options, costs and benefits of introducing a food safety rating scheme in the ACT. Food safety rating schemes are commonly referred to as ‘Scores on Doors’ and are thriving internationally including some Australian jurisdictions. Examples of international food safety rating schemes can be found in the 2011 international study tour report below.

It should be noted that there is no current requirement that food businesses participate in a food safety rating scheme.

Download: RIS - Options to improve food safety in the ACT (PDF File - 853k)
International Study Tour (PDF File - 2175k)

Helpful Food Links

Food Safety Information Council

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)

Contact us

For general enquiries on food safety issues or to report a concern:

Phone (02) 6205 1700

Fax (02) 6205 1705

Emergencies (02) 9962 8612

Email: hps@act.gov.au