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Food Safety

This section provides the following information on food safety. Click on the links below to go directly to the section, or scroll through the information.

Food Safety Supervisor Requirements | "I'M ALERT" Interactive Food Safety Program | Healthy Eating - The 8700kJ Campaign | Love Food Hate Waste Campaign | Healthy Eating Advice Heart Foundation | Council's Inspection Program | Charges for Food Safety Surveillance | Legislation and Food Safety Standards | Food Premises Design, Construction and Fit-out Guide | Temporary Food Events and Markets | Useful Links

Council has been authorised by New South Wales (NSW) Food Authority to undertake food surveillance of retail food businesses in Rockdale. Rockdale City Council Officers regularly meet representatives of NSW Food Authority and other Local Council Officers to discuss food safety matters and assist the process of achieving consistency among inspections carried out by Councils in the area and State.

Food Safety Supervisor

New food laws introduced in NSW require certain food businesses in the hospitality and retail food services sector to appoint at least one trained Food Safety Supervisor (FSS).

NSW Food Authority has produced a guideline detailing the new requirements. Details are available from this link on their website

As from September 2011 all food business including processing and selling food at retail level will be required to appoint a Food Safety Supervisor. Such businesses are: Bakeries, Cafes, Caterers, Clubs, Hotels, Mobile Caterers (eg process and transport food to more than one location), and Mobile Food vendors (eg process and sell food from the van), Pubs, Restaurants, Supermarket hot food sales (eg hot chicken), Takeaway shops and Temporary premises (eg food market stalls).

All food business will have at least 1 year until September 2011 to train at least one Food Safety Supervisor for the business. On completion of the Food Safety Supervisor training the Food Safety Supervisor will receive an approved Food Safety Supervisor Certificate. This must be kept at the food business at all times.

The business owner or the Food Safety Supervisor must notify the Council that a Food Safety Supervisor has been appointed for the food business. A notification form must be filled in - all forms and copies must be sent to Rockdale City Council.

The training requirements for the Food Safety Supervisor are nationally approved. The course references are:

  • SITXOHS002A - Follow workplace hygiene procedures
  • SITXFSA001A - Implement food safety procedures

The Food Safety Supervisor training course will be held at approved training organisations (ATOs). Details of the training organisations can be found on The NSW Food Authority website. For further information or assistance or advice regarding the Food Safety Supervisors (FSS) or whether a food business is exempt or not, please contact Council's Environmental Health Unit on 9562 1833 or check further in this website.

Food Safety Supervisor notification is separate to other notifications. Notification can be made on the by completing the Food Safety Supervisor Notification Form and returning it to Council.

Interactive Food Safety Program

Now available - click on the logo below

Online food safety training is provided through the "I'M ALERT Food Safety" interactive program.

The program will assist food safety supervisors to train their staff in their food business. Food Safety supervisors will need to undertake further training by an accredited organisation to meet the requirements proposed in the Food Amendment (Food Safety Supervisors) Bill passed on 11 November 2009.

What is I'M ALERT Food Safety?

I'M ALERT Food Safety is a program that enables consistent and efficient delivery of Food Safety Training that can be accessed online, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and includes:

  • sections reflecting the basic food safety principles (eg Temperature Control, Food Receipt, Food Storage, Hygiene of Food Handlers, etc) as outlined in the Food Safety Standards
  • interactive tasks and quizzes
  • printable training acknowledgement form (assists a food business operator and staff to demonstrate skills and knowledge requirements)
  • printable certificate (can be displayed within a food business)
  • "Remind me" option (prompts a user to conduct the training again after a nominated time period)
  • "Notify" option (enables a user to notify others of their completion of the training program)

Rockdale City Council has made this program available to anyone who would like to complete the training. To do so, simply click on the link "I'M ALERT Food Safety" to start the course.

This information package has been developed by qualified and experienced Environmental Health professionals and is equivalent in scope to a two-day consultant-delivered course. Most sections include an interactive quiz. Upon completion of the program, a training acknowledgement form can be printed and filed as part of your food safety records.


Healthy Eating
Information to assist customers to calculate the kilojoule intake of foods
8700 reasons to change the way you think about fast food

Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson has launched a new education campaign to encourage consumers to make informed choices about fast and ready-to-go food.

Ms Hodgkinson said the 8700kJ campaign is focused on educating the public about their kilojoule intake and giving them easy access to information in order to make balanced food choices.
The 8700kJ campaign follows NSW legislation which has seen the introduction of kilojoule labelling on menu boards since 1 February 2012.

"Fastfood chains with twenty or more outlets in NSW are now required to display the kilojoule content of all items on their menus.

"It is a first for Australian consumers and NSW is leading the way when it comes to ensuring the public have the right information at their fingertips to make more educated decisions about their kilojoule intake.

"The average Australian consumes 8700 kilojoules of food and drink each day, yet only five per cent of people are aware of how many kilojoules they should be consuming.

"From today, to complement the legislation and new labelling system, consumers can visit to calculate their ideal kilojoule intake, search food outlets to see how many kilojoules are in the food they are eating, and learn about how exercise can help burn kilojoules.

"To further help consumers make good decisions about what they eat, the NSW Government has launched an 8700kJ app which will be available on iPhone, iPad and and Android.

"The NSW Government is putting information in the hands of consumers when they need it," Ms Hodgkinson said.

NSW Food Authority research shows that almost two thirds of people recently surveyed about their purchasing patterns at fast food outlets said they buy ready-to-go foods at least once a week.

8700kJ campaign ambassador and nutritionist, Dr Joanna McMillan said the 8700kJ concept is unique and arms consumers with the tools to take responsibility for their eating habits.

"Knowing the number of kilojoules in each food and beverage item before you buy makes an enormous difference in the decision making process," Dr McMillan said.

NSW Food Authority Chief Scientist, Dr Lisa Szabo said that research indicates consumers want to be able to make smart food decisions despite fast and snack food consumption being on the rise and patronage at ready-to-go food outlets doubling in the past 10 years.

"Australians who regularly purchase convenience foods tend to choose the same meals each time and the majority don’t know the kilojoule content of what they are consuming," Dr Szabo.

Ms Hodgkinson encouraged the public to visit the 8700kJ website and learn more about their individual kilojoule intake.

"The NSW Government has found there is a strong desire to make informed eating decisions but until now Australians haven’t had the tools to do so. The 8700kJ campaign is about providing these tools for people to make balanced decisions about food without telling them what to eat," Ms Hodgkinson said.


Love Food Hate Waste Campaign

Wasting food wastes the energy, water and natural resources used to grow, package, transport and market that food. The NSW EPA has developed a website to provide useful advice to residents and businesses to minimise the amount of food that is unnecessarily wasted.

Healthy Eating Advice Heart Foundation

The Heart Foundation of Australia has many useful tips to provide healthy meals including recipes and healthy living. The Heart Foundation has also identified that caterers for groups and organisations can play an important role in supporting healthy eating, a key step in reducing the risk of heart disease. A few simple changes can make a big difference to the food served at your events, proving healthier is still delicious.

The Heart Foundation website has a number of resources of particular interest to food service business owners:
The 3 Step Guide which has been produced by the Heart Foundation to help the food service industry reduce the level of trans and saturated fats in food prepared and served. It briefly outlines why these fats are unhealthy, where they are found on menus and simple steps that can be taken to reduce them. The 3 Step Guide is currently being updated to reflect currently available products.
A Healthier Serve: the Heart Foundation's Guide to Healthier Catering which outlines ideas for a healthier approach to providing healthier foods.
Both of these resources are available at the Providing Food for Others section of their website.

Inspection Program

Rockdale Council has prepared a programme of inspections based on the risk assessment endorsed by NSW Food Authority. This risk assessment classifies retail food business into 3 levels of risk these are level 0, level 1, and level 2.

  • Level 0 (Low risk) are those that sell only low risk packaged food
  • Level 1 (Medium risk) are those businesses that sell medium and low risk food
  • Level 2 (High risk) are those businesses that sell high risk food including cooked meals

Level 0 (Low risk) food businesses are generally inspected only when an incident occurs.
Level 1 (Medium risk) food businesses are generally inspected once per year.
Level 2 (High risk) businesses are generally inspected once per year.

Where critical defects are observed during the inspection a reinspection of the premises is carried out to ensure that the matters raised are dealt with.

Charges for Food Safety Surveillance

Inspection Fees

Food businesses are charged an Annual Administration Fee and an inspection fee in line with the recommended fees from NSW Food Authority and adopted by Council in their annual review of its Fees and Charges.

Food business inspections are not optional and Council inspects food businesses at a frequency equivalent to their level of risk classification as detailed above. Council has adopted the same fees for food safety inspections as used by NSW Food Authority. These are included in Council's Fees and Charges section of its Management Plan.

Schools solely run by parents and teachers for the benefit of the school children, and charities are charged inspection fees but not the annual administration fee.

Food Safety Standards

The standards that food businesses must meet in New South Wales are contained in the Food Act 2003, Food Regulation 2004, and Food Standards Code - Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

The Standards apply to all food businesses. To address the specific requirements for temporary food events and markets, the NSW Food Authority has produced guidelines to assist businesses selling food at temporary events to comply with food safety requirements.

Food Premises Design, Construction and Fit-out Guide

NSW Food Authority has sponsored a project with Queensland Government and Local Councils in NSW to provide an authoritative Food Premises Design, Construction and Fit-out guide. The guide is based on the Food Safety Standards 3.2.3 (Food Premises and Equipment) and the Australian Standard AS 4674-2004 (Design, construction and fit-out of food premises). It aims to provide users with minimum requirements and best practice options to assist in producing food that is safe to eat and free from contamination. It provides guidance to operators, architects, designers, builders, equipment manufacturers and other professionals associated with the design and construction of food premises. It is to be read in conjunction with NSW legislation, Codes and Standards.

Food Premises Design and Fit-out Guide to AS 4674 2004

Temporary Food Events and Markets

NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet has designed a toolkit to complement events management publications produced by the Community Engagement and Events Division, Department of Premier and Cabinet, including the Event Starter Guide. This is available at
Part 9 of Event Starter Guide provides specific advice concerning the health considerations and useful web links associated with providing events.

All food suppliers, including not-for-profit and charity fundraisers, are required to sell safe and suitable food in compliance with the Food Standards Code (the Code). The NSW Food Authority publishes the Food Handling Guideline for Temporary Events (the Guideline) which provides minimum standards for the preparation, display, handling and labelling of food and beverages in line with the Code.

It is important to be familiar with Part 3.2.2 (Food Safety Requirements) of the Code, which is particularly relevant to events. Among other things, it relates to the storage, processing, display and distribution of food; the skills and knowledge of food handlers and their supervisors; the health and hygiene of food handlers; and the cleaning and maintenance premises and equipment.

You must always consult Council or landowning authority to gain approval for the sale of food and beverages and for the installation of temporary food stalls. Part 3.2.3 (Food Premises and Equipment) of the Code should also be consulted. It gives guidance on complying with the food safety standards in relation to the construction and cleaning of food stalls, premises and transport vehicles, as well as other necessary services such as water, waste disposal, light, ventilation, cleaning and personal hygiene facilities. The Guideline should also be consulted for recommendations on the location of food stalls and minimum standards for stall construction.

Food businesses of the type generally involved in temporary events are not required to hold a NSW Food Authority Licence. However, it is likely that a licence will be needed under the Food Regulation 2010, if the business involves the processing of foods such as butcher’s meat, raw poultry, dairy products or seafood. The NSW Food Authority should be contacted prior to the event to ensure the approval requirements are met.

You should also ensure food counters are accessible to patrons using wheelchairs see 11.

Liquor licences also require that food must be available if liquor is served.

Fact sheets on caterers' food safety and charities, community groups and volunteers can also be found under the ‘Factsheets and guidelines’ section of the 'For Industry' tab.

For more information on the Food Standards Code go to the Food Standards website or phone (02) 6271 2222.

For more information on food and food premises, consult Safe and Health Mass Gatherings (published by Emergency Management Australia in the Attorney General’s Department). It is available online in the Emergency Manual Series.

Useful Links
Food Safety Supervisor Notification Form
Food Standards Code - Food Standards Australia New Zealand
Food Premises Design and Fit-out Guide to AS 4674 2004
Food Handling Guidelines for Temporary Events
The Food Act 2003
Food Regulation 2004
Powers of Authorised Officers
Australian Standard 4674-2004 - Design, Construction and Fit out of Food Premises
Food Standards and Requirements Overview
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Food Standards Code - User Guides (FSANZ)
NSW Office of Fair Trading
Council's Management Plan

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