Existing Food Business Operators

Ongoing approval of a food business requires maintaining compliance with the Food Act 2003 , the Food Standards Code and the conditions of approval. 

To monitor compliance of food businesses and protect public health, our Environmental Health Officers conduct inspections, provide information and advice, and take enforcement action as required. 

Renewal of Food Business Registration
Registration of food businesses handling potentially hazardous food is a requirement of the Act. It is an offence to operate without a registration and penalties apply. 

Subject to assessment of the suitability of the facility and the applicant to operate safely as a food business, an application for renewal of registration of a food business may be refused, approved or approved with conditions. 

City of Launceston annual food business registration expires on July 31 each year. 

It is the responsibility of the food business to make an application for renewal before the expiration of the current registration. 

To assist operators to meet their registration obligation, the City of Launceston sends a renewal application form and invoice to food businesses prior to the expiry of registrations. If you have supplied a current email address, we send these reminders electronically. If you have not received the reminder and it is approaching 31 July, please contact us so that we can assist you with your renewal. 

Food businesses that fail to renew their registration prior to the due date are sent a reminder notice and a late fee is applied. 

Food businesses that continue to operate after the reminder due date without renewing the registration are liable for an on-the-spot fine each day until they apply for renewal or cease trading. This action is taken as a last resort and our preference is that food businesses fulfil this responsibility of their own volition. 

Notification of change of contact details
To ensure your registration record is kept up-to-date, please advise us, in writing, if your postal address, email address or contact phone number changes during the registration period. 

Renovations and Menu Changes
Alterations to the approved menu requires approval from one of our Environmental Health Officers prior to the change commencing. The fit-out of the premises will be assessed to determine whether or not it is suitable for the proposed menu change. 

If you wish to begin selling alcohol, approval from the Commissioner for Licensing is required. There are also specific requirements regarding the availability of customer toilet facilities that must be considered. Advice should be sought from a Building Surveyor as to the adequacy of existing toilet facilities for this purpose. 

Alterations and renovations of food premises require approval from one of our Environmental Health Officers prior to the works commencing. 

For advice on fit-out requirements for fixed location food premises please refer to our Food Premises – How to get started and what you need to know information sheet(PDF, 80KB). Building and plumbing approval of renovations may also be required. 

For information about fit-out requirements for mobile food premises please refer to the Guidelines for Mobile Food Businesses. 

Before making any alterations or renovations to the fit-out of the premises, please contact us to discuss your proposal. 

Altering a food premises in accordance with the required approval process will prevent you from having to undertake costly remedial work if the fit-out does not meet legal requirements. 

Inspections
Routine inspections of food businesses are conducted by our Environmental Health Officers throughout the year. At times it is also necessary for follow up inspections or additional inspections to be conducted such as when matters requiring attention are identified or complaints are received. 

As per the Food Act 2003, Environmental Health Officers may enter and inspect food premises at 'any reasonable time'. An appointment is not required, nor desirable, as food business compliance is best assessed when the inspection is unexpected. 

'Any reasonable time' is generally taken to mean when food handling is occurring at the business. Our officers endeavour to schedule inspections outside of busy times where possible. 

If an officer inadvertently visits for an inspection at a time that is genuinely inconvenient to the business, depending on the circumstances, you may be able to negotiate with them a rescheduling of the inspection. However, please keep in mind that our Environmental Health Officers must schedule hundreds of inspections along with other responsibilities each year and rescheduling may not be possible. 

To assist food businesses to assess their own compliance and make improvements between inspection visits, City of Launceston offers the (PDF, 186KB)Food Business – Self Assessment Checklist(PDF, 186KB). 

Notices
Following an inspection, an Improvement Notice may be issued specifying a schedule of works and completion dates. 

It is an offence to not comply with an Improvement Notice and penalties apply. 

Subject to the food safety risk posed by the non-compliance, completion dates may be negotiated with the Environmental Health Officer. A request for an extension supported by a reasonable excuse is best made before the relevant completion date. 

Other Notices may also be issued where serious non-compliances are identified. These include Prohibition Orders, Seizure Orders and Infringement Notices.

Closure or sale of food business
If you are closing or selling your food business, please advise us in writing that you wish to cancel your registration. Food business registration is not transferable and a new owner will need to gain their own approval prior to operating.

On-Street Dining and Signs
Approval from Council is required if the business wishes to use a portion of the footpath or road reserve for on-street dining or portable signs.

Food Business Information and Resources
The City of Launceston offers information and resources for food business operators including food safety training, labelling information, allergy information and food safety templates to assist food businesses to provide safe food.  

Other approvals
The operation of mobile food businesses on private property requires the consent of the owner and may require planning approval. 

A permit from Council, issued under the Vehicle and Traffic Act 1999, is required for food vendors on public roads.                       

The operation of mobile food premises at events requires the permission of the event organiser. 

The sale of alcohol requires approval from the Commissioner for Licensing. There are also specific requirements regarding the availability of customer toilet facilities that must be considered. Advice should be sought from a Building Surveyor as to the adequacy of existing toilet facilities for this purpose.

For further information, contact us.