Food safety and drink businesses

Good food safety is the foundation of any food and drink business. Businesses must ensure they meet and exceed the relevant safety standards, otherwise they face significant penalties.

Maintaining high standards

The Cumberland area is one of the most culturally diverse and vibrant LGAs in NSW which is reflected in the variety of food on offer across its local outlets. Cumberland City Council is committed to ensuring the highest standards of food safety are maintained by working with local food businesses to make eating out a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

All retail food businesses are regulated by Council and the NSW Food Authority under the Food Regulation Partnership. Council approves new food businesses, undertakes routine inspections to check compliance with requirements, investigates reports of hygiene and food safety concerns, and provides advice to new and existing operators.

Looking to set up a new food business?

Before starting a new food business, be sure to confirm that the premises you will be operating from is approved for this use, and if it is, that you’re familiar with the conditions of the approval. If unsure, please contact our duty planner to discuss. 

Once you have confirmed the appropriate approvals are in place, you’ll need to register your business details with Council before commencing operations, and any time you change business details after that. For all fixed food premises (i.e. not temporary or mobile), you can complete the below form:

Online form

Paper forms are also available as below

For butchers

For other types of food businesses, please refer to the following pages for guidance:

What should I expect during an inspection from Council?

Our Environmental Health Officers can conduct unannounced inspections of your premises at any time it is in operation

Inspections are primarily focussed on checking compliance with the Food Act 2003 and the Food Standards Code. This will include an assessment of:

  • The design, construction, fit out and condition of the premises;
  • How the business prepares, processes, stores, displays and transports food;
  • How the business manages pests, waste, and other potential risks to food safety.

Once the inspection is completed, you will be provided with a copy of the inspection report which will outline the details of what was checked and any non-compliances identified. The officer will advise you, either while on site or via phone or email afterwards, whether any further action is required from you. This may take the form of an email, letter, or an Improvement Notice. It is important to ensure you address all required actions from your inspection by the date specified to avoid risking fines or other enforcement action being taken.

Fees are charged for inspections – you can review the current rates in Councils published schedule of fees and charges.

Name and Shame Scheme

The NSW Food Authority publishes the details of food businesses who receive a penalty notice (fine) or are prosecuted for food safety breaches each year. Enquiries relating to the list should be directed to the NSW Food Authority.

Food Safety Training

The Food Safety Supervisor scheme applies to certain food businesses, and requires them to have at least one person who is a trained Food Safety Supervisor (FSS). Businesses requiring an FSS include those that process and sell food that is:

  1. Ready to eat, and
  2. Potentially hazardous (i.e. requires temperature control), and
  3. NOT sold and served in the supplier’s original packaging.

This generally includes restaurants, cafes, takeaway shops, caterers, bakeries, pubs, clubs, hotels, and supermarkets that sell hot food or other ready to eat meals.

The requirement does not apply to coffee vendors who only heat milk, charities and not-for profit community operations, school canteens, child care centres, OOSH services, and food businesses that only do one or more of the following activities only:

  1. slice fermented meats or smallgoods, or both
  2. slice or portion cheese, or both
  3. process raw seafood
  4. slice or portion fruit or vegetables, or both.

FSS training courses are provided by registered training organisations, and are generally offered in either a face-to-face environment or online. View a list of approved training organisations

The council also supports additional free online training, in English and Cantonese, on the topic of food safety. Note: This free online training does not constitute a Food Safety Supervisor course.

Making a complaint about food business

If you have concerns about the conditions or food handling processes in a local retail food business, then you can lodge a request with Council to have the matter investigated.

If your concern relates to one of the following issues, please contact the relevant agency:

Frequently asked questions?

1. I need a recent food inspection report for UberEats or another meal delivery service. How can I get this?

Council provides a report at the conclusion of each inspection which summarises the details of the inspection including the result and requirement for any actions. Council endeavours to inspect all retail food businesses at least once every financial year, including newly registered ones. Council does not carry out inspections on request for the purpose of furnishing a new food inspection report for a meal delivery service.

2. I’m not happy with my Scores on Doors rating from my last inspection. Can I request a reinspection and get a new score?

The Scores on Doors rating is based on the findings from an unannounced food safety and hygiene inspection undertaken by Council each year. Scores cannot be recalculated based on reinspections. The score will be reassessed at an unannounced inspection in the following financial year. For tips on how to improve your score for next time, refer to this NSW Food Authority factsheet.

3. I only sell pre-packaged snacks like chocolate bars, soft drinks, and packets of chips. Am I still required to register with Council?

Yes – any business that involves the handling of food for sale is classified as a food business. Food includes any substance used for human consumption, including packaged and non-packaged food, raw and cooked ingredients, chewing gum, hot and cold drinks, and whole fruit and vegetables. You must still register your business with Council even if you are only selling packaged, non-potentially hazardous foods.

4. I run a child care centre or school canteen. Am I considered a food business and required to register with Council?

If food/meals are purchased from the canteen by the children, or if meals are provided by the child care centre as part of the fee for the service, then you will still be considered a food business and must register with Council.

5. I’m running cooking classes. Am I considered a food business and required to register with Council?

If payment is taken for the class, and meals or drinks will be consumed as part of the class, then the activity is likely to be considered a food business. You would therefore need to register with Council.