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Food business registration

In Knox, all food businesses must be registered through us and follow regulations to ensure that the food they sell is safe to eat in order to comply with the Food Act 1984.

About registration

The registration process differs depending on whether you are:

  • opening a new business
  • buying or selling an existing business
  • a temporary or mobile food business.

Classification of food businesses

All food businesses are classified according to the level of food safety risk they pose to the public. This determines the level of legal requirements and registration that you need to comply with.

Class 1, 2 and 3 premises must register with Council. Registration must be renewed annually.

Class 4 premises only need to register once.

Find out which category your food premises comes under.

New food businesses

Before you set up a new food business and apply for registration, it's a good idea to check the guidelines for:

These are step-by-step guides to help walk you through the process.

Additional information to help you meet the legal requirements includes:

Your next steps are:

Apply for registration

To register your food premises you need to submit a plan assessment form.  This form must include the following documents:

A detailed floor plan of all food preparation, storage and servery areas. This must include the dimensions of both the space and all fixtures.

A schedule of finishes describing the finishes of all surfaces including the:

  • sinks (including handwash basins, food preparation sinks)
  • floor
  • ceiling
  • walls
  • benches
  • cabinetry.

Complete an application for Plan Assessment (Commercial)

Complete an application for Plan Assessment (Home Based)

These documents can be:

After plan assessment

Once we have assessed your application, you may begin works (if required).

As the works near completion or you are ready to begin trading, contact our Health Services Department to arrange a final inspection of your premises.

At this inspection we will need to see:

  • Food Safety Program and associated records (Class 1 and 2 premises)
  • soap and paper towel provided to hand wash basins
  • thermometer accurate to +/- 1°C
  • an approved food grade sanitiser
  • the premises in a clean and sanitary condition, with all equipment functioning as intended.

This inspection must take place before you can begin trading.

Upon successful completion of the final inspection, we will give you an Application for Registration. You will need to pay:

  • an establishment fee, and
  • a registration fee.

For Class 1 and 2 premises you must also provide a Food Safety Supervisors certificate.  

Additional legal requirements

Depending on your premises, you may be subject to other legal requirements. You may need advice on things like:

  • the change of use of the building
  • car parking space requirements
  • structural and signage changes
  • public and staff toilet requirements.

Call our City Development Department (Building & Planning) on 9298 8000.

If you need advice on whether you need to install an oil/food waste interceptor. Call South East Water on 9552 3662.

Buying an existing food business

Due to recent changes in the Food Act 1984, new food business owner(s) taking over the management of a registered food premises will need to apply for a new registration and submit an application for plan assessment. Transfers will cease to continue.

Complete an application for Plan Assessment (Commercial)

Complete an application for Plan Assessment (Home Based)

Pre-sale inspection

Should an inspection report be required for legal settlement reasons prior to the sale of a food business, the current food business owner(s) can make this request and pay for this service. There is an option of a four or ten business day turnaround for the inspection report. 

Apply for a food premises enquiry

Registration fees

Find out about food business registration fees and charges.

Closing a food business

You need to let us know if you are closing a food premises.

Email the following information to health.services@knox.vic.gov.au:

  • address of the premises
  • trading name of food premises
  • date that trading ceased
  • name and contact details of person submitting closure advice.

Temporary or mobile food businesses

Community groups and operators of temporary or mobile food businesses must apply online via the Streatrader website.

Examples of activities that are registered through Streatrader include:

  • sausage sizzles
  • coffee vans
  • market stalls.

Food business prosecutions

The Department of Health and Human Services maintains a Food Safety Register of Convictions that identifies businesses that have been convicted of breaches of the Food Act 1984.

Need help?

Email health.services@knox.vic.gov.au and we will get back to you.

Or call our Health Services department on 9298 8000.

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