Food Safety Food Safety

With around five million Australians getting ill from eating unsafe food each year, food safety is an issue that affects everyone. Providing safe food to your customers is not only vital for your business reputation, it’s also required by law.

All individuals, organisations, businesses and not for profits are required to handle, store, display and sell food in a safe manner, complying with the Food Act 2006. This includes food that is given away or donated.

The Environmental Health team at Weipa Town Authority (WTA) monitors the food safety and hygiene standards of local food businesses to ensure compliance with the Act. We also provide advice to the community about preparing, serving, selling and donating food. 

In the event of certain types of complaint, WTA can investigate and provide advice relating to food matters.

Complaints

Weipa Town Authority is responsible for regulating aspects of the Food Act 2006. If you’re concerned about a food business and wish to obtain advice or make a complaint, you can contact us in confidence on 07 4030 9400. 

Some types of complaint are regulated by various State Government Departments, examples of which can be found below:

  • Primary production, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI)
  • Processing, Safe Food Production Queensland
  • Manufacturing / Retail, Queensland Health and WTA.
  • Labelling issues, Queensland Health
  • Food sold or produced by or on State Government land, Queensland Health
  • Tobacco and Smoking, Queensland Health
  • Food poisoning allegations (including foreign matter found in food), Queensland Health

Do I need a food licence? 

Most food businesses are required to obtain a food business licence from WTA before they start operating. Businesses that may require a food business licence include:

  • Restaurants and delicatessens 
  • Catering businesses 
  • Takeaway food shops 
  • Mobile food vans 
  • Providing meals with accommodation 
  • Child care centres/services 
  • Private hospitals 
  • Certain temporary food stalls selling food at markets or events 
  • Preparation of regular meals by charity groups.

You can find further information about food business licencing and exemptions

If you are unsure whether your food business requires a food licence to operate, please contact the Communities Department at WTA on 07 4030 9400.

Approvals and application

Once you have identified the need for a food licence, you will need to contact the WTA Departments below to obtain the relevant approvals before proceeding with your application:

Property and Planning: for the appropriate Planning approvals, Building approvals and Building certification 
Communities Department: to obtain a Trade Waste approval.

You may also need to contact the following State Government Departments to identify if you require further approvals and permits:

  • Liquor Licensing Division of the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing 
  • Queensland Health, who enforce legislation regarding smoking.

Forms and fees

There are a number of application forms relevant to starting and operating a food business. Fees are also applicable to various approvals and can be found here.

Food premises

Setting up a food business is more than just applying for a food licence. When planning to open and operate a food business you may also need to consider your physical premises. 

You can find out more about construction standards and guidelines to plan and build new premises or change existing premises here

Application forms

Application forms for a food licence are available from WTA or by clicking here. Please note that the Food Licence Application Form also identifies what additional plans and information is required to assess your application. 

We aim to process your application within 30 days, and will notify you when a decision has been made. If we require additional information to process your application, we will ask you for this (which may extend the assessment timeframe). 

Before commencing operation, you must contact WTA for an approval inspection. Fines and prosecution may apply for operating a food business before receiving all WTA approvals. 

If you have any questions, please contact the Communities Department at WTA on 07 4030 9400.

Temporary food stalls (for profit)

Application forms for a temporary food stall (for profit) are available from WTA or by clicking here
We aim to process your application within 14 days and will notify you when a decision has been made. If we need additional information to process the application, we will ask you for this. 

Before commencing operation, you must contact WTA for an inspection. Fines and prosecution may apply for operating a food business before receiving all WTA approvals.

If you have any questions, please see the fact sheet or please contact the Communities Department at WTA on 07 4030 9400.

Temporary food stalls (not-for-profit)

Application forms for a temporary food stall (not-for-profit) are available from WTA or by clicking here 

We aim to process your application within 14 days and will notify you when a decision has been made. If we need additional information to process the application, we will ask you for this. 

Before commencing operation, you must contact WTA for an inspection. Fines and prosecution may apply for operating a food business before receiving all WTA approvals.

If you have any questions, please see the fact sheet or contact the Communities Department at WTA on 07 4030 9400.

Transferring an existing food licence

If you are planning on selling or buying a food business there are a few items you need to ensure are completed at the point of sale:

If you intend to refurbish the existing premises you may also require fit-out approval from WTA.

If you are considering purchasing a food business, you can ascertain its current level of compliance with Food Safety standards by applying for one of the following business inspection searches: 

  • Compliance report;
  • Inspection and written report or
  • Inspection and written report (required within 72 business days).

Please note that this process requires permission from the current licence holder or legal agencies acting on their behalf. Fees relating to these searches can be found here

Renovating or making changes to existing licensed food premises

If you intend to renovate or refurbish existing premises, you may be required to apply for fit-out approval from WTA. Please fill out the Application for a Food Licence with the relevant fee and return to WTA.

Please note that you will need to provide two copies of the following plans (drawn to scale, not less than 1:50):

  • Flood plans, including waste disposal facilities and equipment location 
  • Elevations of each food preparation room or area
  • Mechanical exhaust ventilation (exhaust systems must comply with AS1668.2). Specifications for all equipment being serviced by the mechanical exhaust ventilation must be included. 

For further information on the fit-out of your food premises, please refer to the following guide

Food safety supervisors

The Food Act 2006 requires all licensable food businesses in Queensland to have a food safety supervisor. You can find out more about this requirement by clicking the links below:

Food safety programs

The Food Act 2006 requires that certain food businesses must have a food safety program accredited by their local government or administering authority. A food safety program is a documented program that identifies and controls food safety hazards in the handling of food in a food business. 

Licensable food businesses are required to have an accredited food safety program if:

  • The food business involves off‐site catering 
  • The primary activity is on‐site catering at the premises stated in the licence
  • The primary activity is on‐site catering at part of the premises stated in the licence
  • The food business is part of the operations of a private hospital, or otherwise processes or serves potentially hazardous food to six or more vulnerable persons.

Relevant information regarding Food Safety Programs can be found by clicking here.

Food safety training 

All persons handling food within a food business must have the appropriate skills and knowledge in food safety matters (via accredited or non-accredited training).

Food safety training services and resources are available from various sources (in house, external providers, training organisations, etc) and in a variety of formats (online, class room based, booklets, fact sheets, etc). 

Relevant information regarding Food Safety Programs can be found here