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Food safety in food businesses

Fitting out your food premises

There are specific requirements under Food Safety Standard 3.2.2 (Food Safety Practices and General Requirements) which outline the way in which food businesses must be designed and constructed to minimise opportunities for food contamination.

Food businesses are required to ensure that their food premises, fixtures, fittings, equipment and transport vehicles are designed and constructed to be easily cleaned and where necessary, sanitised.

Businesses must ensure that the premises are provided with the necessary services of:

  • water,
  • waste disposal,
  • light,
  • ventilation,
  • cleaning and personal hygiene facilities,
  • storage space, and
  • access to toilets.


Walls, floors and ceilings

Walls and ceilings are required to be appropriate for the specific area, they must not provide places for pests to hide, and must be smooth and impervious to moisture to facilitate easy cleaning.

Flooring must be smooth and impervious to moisture and must not provide harbourage for pests. The floor-wall junction should be coved to prevent the build up of food particles and other materials.

Hand washing facilities

Food premises must have handwashing facilities that are located where they can be easily accessed by food handlers, they must be permanent fixtures, and provided with a supply of warm running potable water, soap and single use towel. If a separate hot and cold water supply is provided a mixer tap or common outlet is required.

Handwashing basins must be of a size that allows easy and effective hand washing and must be clearly designated for the sole purpose of washing hands, arms and face. Food businesses must ensure that the hand washing facility is unobstructed at all times. Waste water from handwashing facilities must be discharged to an approved waste disposal system.

Food washing facilities

A food preparation sink should be installed where food handling involves frequent washing of fruit and vegetables. This sink is to be used for the sole purpose of washing food and not for hand or utensil washing.

Utensil washing facilities

Food businesses can install either a double bowl sink or a commercial dishwasher for washing food utensils.

Dishwashers must have a rinse cycle temperature greater than 77oC to ensure that the utensils are being adequately sanitised. The dishwasher should have a visible gauge so that you can check that the unit is reaching the desired temperature.

Alternatively a double bowl sink can be used. This setup requires one bowl to be used for washing and the other bowl used for rinsing and sanitising. A food grade chemical sanitiser can be used or water at a temperature above 77oC or greater for a period of 30 seconds.

Dishes should be left to air dry, tea towels should not be used.

Food display

All foods displayed in bars, counters, self-service cafeterias and smorgasboards are to be adequately protected from contamination. They should be made of food grade materials that can be easily cleaned. Serving utensils must be provided for each type of food to prevent contamination from customers and cross-contamination from one food to another.

Potentially hazardous foods such as meat and foods containing meat, dairy products, prepared fruits and vegetables, cooked rice and pasta, and cooked or processed foods containing eggs are required to be stored at a temperature of 5oC or below or 60oC or above to minimise the growth of pathogenic organisms. If the potentially hazardous food cannot be stored at such temperatures and is therefore stored in the “temperature danger zone” the 2/4 hour rule must be applied.

 The 2/4 hour rule involves applying the following time limits to ensure that potentially hazardous foods remain safe to eat:

  • Under 2 hours: use or refrigerate at a temperature of 5oC or below
  • 2-4 hours: use immediately
  • 4 hours: throw away

Waste disposal

Food premises must have facilities for the storage of garbage and recyclable matter that can adequately contain the volume required. The waste must be enclosed to ensure it does not become a breeding ground for pests or emit offensive odours. The facilities must also be designed and constructed to ensure it can be easily and effectively cleaned.

Ventilation

Food premises must have sufficient natural or mechanical ventilation to effectively remove smoke, fumes, steam and vapours from the food premises.

Storage facilities

Food premises must have adequate storage facilities for the storage of items that are likely to be the source of contamination of food, including chemicals, clothing and personal belongings. Storage facilities must be located where there is no likelihood of stored items contaminating food or food contact surfaces.

Toilet facilities

Food businesses must ensure that adequate toilet facilities are available for the use of food handlers and that the facilities are provided with hand washing facilities.

Food transport vehicles

Vehicles used to transport food must be designed and constructed to protect food if there is a likelihood of food being contaminated during transport, they must be able to be effectively cleaned and where necessary sanitised.

Further information

For any further information, please contact one of council's Environmental Health Officers on (08) 8375 6600.

I’m Alert Food Safety Training

I’m alert is an online interactive platform including quizzes for food handlers of any skill level looking to improve their knowledge on the safe practices and procedures when handling food.

The online program is the equivalent of a two-day consultant delivered course and covers a wide scope of the Food Safety Standards, relevant to all food handlers.

During the course you will gain an understanding of:

  • Potentially hazardous food
  • Contamination of food
  • Temperature control
  • Food handling skills and knowledge
  • Cleanliness and sanitising of specific equipment
  • Animals and pests
  • Temperature measuring devices
  • Hygiene and health standards of food handlers
  • Food recall systems
  • Food displays
  • Processing, packaging and storing of food and much more.

There is no practical involved in this program and upon completion you will receive a certificate with your details included which can be kept as part of your food safety records.

Please be advised that you will require the follow system requirements in order to get the most out of the course:

  • Internet Connection
  • PC, MAC or iPad
  • Modern Web Browser
  • Screen Resolution of 1024 x 768 or Higher
  • Speakers or Headphones
  • Adobe reader version 5 or higher

Food Act Notification

Notification is a requirement under the Food Act, 2001 and involves all businesses notifying Council of their business and contact details. All businesses that sell food within the City of Marion are required to complete a notification form.


How does a food premises notify?

Notification forms can be obtained from the Community Health & Safety Unit's Environmental Health Team or by downloading the below form:

  • (Food Business Notification Form pdf)

Completed forms can be returned to City of Marion via one of the following methods:


Post: PO Box 21, Oaklands Park SA 5046

In Person: 245 Sturt Road, Sturt SA 5047

When should a food premesis notify?

If an existing food business changes ownership or if there is a change in the name or address of the business, the proprietor of the business must notify Council of these changes within 14 days.

Under the Food Act, if opening or starting to operate a food business, the proprietor of the business must not trade unless he/she has notified Council.

Temporary food premises

Temporary food premises are also required to complete a notification form before any event.

Temporary food premises are structures set up for a specific, occasional event such as a fete or fair where the cost of providing a permanent structure is unnecessary for food safety.

Temporary food premises may not be able to meet some of the requirements of the Food Safety Standards due to their temporary nature.

The Food Safety Standards allow temporary food premises to be exempt from the following clauses:

  • The designation, location, warm water supply and size of handwashing facilities.
  • The responsibilities of a food business to provide handwashing facilities with warm running water, soap, and hand drying equipment.
  • Requirement of food handlers to use warm water and hand drying equipment.

The Temporary Food Premises Notification Form and Application for Exemption from Food Safety Standard can be downloaded below.

Event Organisers can complete a separate notification form which details all the stall holders on the one form, rather than each individual stall holder completing a separate notification form.

Is there a charge for notification?

Notification is free. Failure to notify can result in large penalties.

Hand washing and hand drying facilities

Temporary food premises are required to have hand washing facilities, although they do not need to be permanent. If permanent hand washing facilities are not available, the requirements of the Food Safety Standards can still be met without the need for an exemption. A container of warm water with a tap or valve, supplied with a collection bucket for wastewater, along with soap and single use paper towels must be supplied in areas where food handlers work.

If these basic hand washing facilities cannot be provided, an exemption may be issued if an Environmental Health Officer is satisfied that food safety is not placed at risk. For example, where there is a limited number of food handlers and only minimal hand contact with food, the Environmental Health Officer may issue an exemption for the supply and use of warm running water.

Food related complaints

Council's Environmental Health Officers routinely inspect all food premises to ensure compliance with the Food Act 2001 and the Food Regulations 2002. Complaints regarding food premises, food handling and food poisoning are investigated by the Environmental Health Officers.

  • For a copy of the Act and Regulations please visit the Department of Health Website (see below).

If you have concerns about any of the following issues, please contact one of Council's Environmental Health Officers (Phone number below).

  • Poor handling of food in a food business.
  • The cleanliness of a food business.
  • Pests found within a food premises.
  • Unsatisfactory food storage.
  • The sale of unsafe or unsuitable food (including contamination with foreign matter and food poisoning)

Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) is responsible for the administration of primary industries legislation. The Dairy Authority of SA and Meat Hygiene unit are two PIRSA agencies with responsibilities for Meat and Dairy product safety.

Prosecution of breaches of the Food Act

The City of Marion's Environmental Health Officers inspect food businesses for compliance with the Food Act 2001 (SA) and the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code and work with businesses to improve standards.

The use of enforcing the Food Act is proportionate and graduated and dependent on a wide range of factors including the compliance history of the food business and the level of risk posed to consumers.

The names of businesses or individuals that have been found guilty by a court of a breach of the Food Act are placed on a public Food Prosecution Register, maintained by SA Health. The name remains on the register for two years from the date of the court decision.

  • To view the public Food Prosecution Register please visit the SA Health Website (link below).

Council has also made a resolution to place the names of businesses or individuals that have been found guilty by a court of a breach of the Food Act on the City of Marion's website. The name will remain on the City of Marion prosecution register for a period of two years from the Court decision date.

Prosecution Register

Michael Calava; and Tight Assignments Pty Ltd, previous proprietors of a food business in the City of Marion area, each convicted of 3 counts of offences under Section 21 of the Food Act on 16 April 2015:

  • Count 1: re Clause 17(1) of Standard 3.2.2. of the Australian New Zealand
  • Count 2: re Clause 17(1) of Standard 3.2.2. of the Australian New Zealand
  • Count 3: re Clause 15 of Standard 3.2.2. of the Australian New Zealand

Dairy Authority of South Australia

The Dairy Authority licences milk vendors, dairy food processors and dairy farmers (including goat and sheep dairy farmers).

Food safety enquiries or information on codes of practice can be obtained by contacting the:

Dairy Authority of SA

33 Hutt Street, Adelaide SA 5000


Meat Hygiene Program

The aim of the PIRSA Meat Hygiene Program is to administer the Meat Australian Standards which exists to ensure that all meat and meat products processed in South Australia for domestic and restricted export consumption are wholesome.

All sectors of the meat processing industry i.e butchers (excluding purely retail operations) are affected by the Meat Hygiene Act 1994.

Enquiries about food businesses administered under the Meat Australian Standards can be made to:

Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA)

GPO Box 1671, Adelaide SA 5001


Food poisoning

If you believe you have food poisoning, visit your doctor. A doctor can take samples for laboratory analysis to see whether your symptoms are food related.

If a sample comes back positive for a notifiable disease, the doctor should notify the Department of Health, who may require your food history to help find the cause of the illness.

Please view information sheets below for further details regarding food poisoning bacteria.

Websites of interest

Further information

For further information, please contact:

Community Health & Safety Unit


In person: 245 Sturt Road, Sturt SA 5047

Post: PO Box 21, Oaklands Park SA 5046