Food

The Food Act 2008 provides the legal framework for the sale of food in Western Australia. This law stipulates that every food business, community group or charitable organisation that provides food to the public is required to notify or register with the local government in which they operate. The sale of food covers everything from wine, whole fruits and vegetables, pre-packaged confectionary through to sausage sizzles, large restaurants and seafood processing.

Information for food businesses

If you would like to open a food business within the Shire of Augusta Margaret River, you will first need to check if you need planning approval. Please phone 9780 5255 and ask to speak with a planning officer.

Whether you need to make an application for planning approval or not, it is a good idea to discuss your proposal with an Environmental Health Officer. Please phone 9780 5255 or email amrshire@amrshire.wa.gov.au  

To register a food business, please complete the food business registration/ notification form. This form is to be completed by all food businesses including charitable and community organisations. Lodgement information can be found on the bottom of the form.

Once a notification or registration has been processed, the food business proprietor will receive a Certificate of Food Business Registration or a Verification of Notification Certificate, depending on the type of business. This certificate remains current for the term of the registration and is not issued annually.

Owners of food businesses are required to inform the Shire of any changes to the food business including change of owner, change of name or address or closure of the business. The food business update form can be used to let the Shire know of any changes.

All food businesses are required to comply with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. The complete Food Standards Code is available from the Food Standards website.

Chapter 3 of the code deals with food safety. All food businesses are to be familiar with these requirements:

Fees

  1. An application to register a food business is to be accompanied by a once-off fee, payable upon lodgement.
  2. An initial invoice is then issued with the certificate of registration. The amount payable is determined by the risk rating of the food business.
  3. Annual invoices are issued to food businesses at the start of the financial year. Once again, the amount payable is determined by the risk rating of the food business.

Genuine charitable and community groups are exempt from paying these fees.

Current fees can be found under Environmental Health in the Schedule of Fees and Charges 

Charity and community groups

If you are a genuine charity, sporting or community group intending to provide food to the public, you are required to notify the Shire. Genuine charity and community groups are exempt from the fees associated with registering and operating a food business however they are subject to the same requirements regarding safe food handling and the same enforcement provisions of the Food Act 2008.  

All food handlers are encouraged to complete free food safety training 

The Food Standards website provides food safety information for sausage sizzles and barbeques.

The minimum standards expected for temporary food stalls construction and operation can be found in this advice note.

Mobile food businesses

Mobile food operators (vans) are expected to meet the same standards which are applied to fixed premises. The application, approval and registration process is the same as for any new food business.

For information regarding trading on Shire reserves, please see information on applying for a Traders Permit.

For trading information at events and markets, please see below 'Temporary food stalls and market stalls'.

Home-based food businesses

If you are interested in operating a food business from a residential kitchen, you will need to first check if you require planning approval. Please phone 9780 5255 and ask to speak to a Planning Officer.

The registration requirements for a home-based food business are the same as for any food business however the Shire follows the WA Department of Health’s policy on food businesses that operate from premises that are used principally as a private dwellings. This policy limits the type of food prepared from residential dwellings to ‘low risk’ foods. Low risk foods generally are non-perishable and do not require refrigeration after manufacture.

Further information can be found on the WA Department of Health website

Temporary food stalls and market stalls

Temporary food stall holders wishing to trade at Shire approved events or markets within the Augusta Margaret River region require approval from Environmental Health at the Shire. The process for gaining approval for a temporary food stall:

  • Contact the market/event organiser to confirm that you are permitted to trade at their event/market;
  • If your food businesses is registered with this Shire (i.e. you hold a current Certificate of Food Business Registration or Verification of Notification certificate issued by the Shire of Augusta Margaret River), you do NOT need to complete any further applications. However, the event organiser may have other requirements, for example, public liability insurance;
  • If your food business is registered in another local government, present your certificate of registration to the event organiser. Temporary food stalls may operate throughout many shires, but only need to be registered with one – the local authority where the business is based;
  • If your food business is not registered, you will need to register it using the process outlined above (i.e. register or notify with the local government in which you are located). Even if you are only selling whole fruits and vegetables and there is no food processing, you are still required to notify the Shire of your activity by submitting the Registration / Notification form.

This guideline provides information regarding the minimum requirements for a temporary food stall at an event or markets.  Markets and events are regularly inspected by Environmental Health Officers.

For information regarding markets and events in the region, please refer to the Shire events page.

Food labelling

All food businesses selling packaged food are encouraged to become familiar with labelling requirements.

The Shire produces a guideline which provides a summary of the basic requirements for compliant labels and information regarding foods which may be exempt from bearing a label.

Food safety in the home

The following key tips are the golden rules for keeping food safe:

Keep it cold

  • Keep the fridge below 5⁰C;
  • Put any food that needs to be kept cold in the fridge straight away;
  • Don’t eat food that’s meant to be in the fridge if it’s been left out for 2 hours or more;
  • Defrost and marinate foods in the fridge, especially meats; and
  • Shop with a cooler bag, picnic with an esky.

Keep it clean

  • Wash and dry hands thoroughly before starting to prepare or eat any food, even a snack;
  • Keep benches, kitchen equipment and tableware clean and dry;
  • Don’t let raw meat juices drip onto other foods;
  • Separate raw and cooked food and use different cutting boards and knives for both; and
  • Avoid making food for others if you are sick with diarrhoea or vomiting.

Keep it hot

  • Cook foods to at least 60⁰C, hotter for specific foods;
  • Reheat foods to at least 60⁰C, until they’re steaming hot;
  • Make sure there’s no pink left in cooked meats such as mince or sausages;
  • Look for clear juices before serving chicken; and
  • Heat to boiling all marinades containing raw meat juices before serving.

Check the label

  • Don’t eat food past a ‘use-by’ date;
  • Note a ‘best before’ date;
  • Follow storage and cooking instructions;
  • Be allergy aware; and
  • Ask the seller for information about unpackaged foods.

Food poisoning

Food poisoning is caused by consuming food or drink that is contaminated with food poisoning organisms. Symptoms of food poisoning may vary depending on the cause of the illness. Certain people are more susceptible. The Department of Health website has useful information including a table of symptoms and how long after eating contaminated food the symptoms appear. 

Reporting food safety concerns

If you:

  • suspect a food business within the Shire of Augusta Margaret River is not complying with safe food handling practices; or
  • have fallen ill and believe it is from food you have consumed from a Shire of Augusta Margaret River food business; or
  • have purchased food from a food business in the Augusta Margaret River Shire that you believe is not safe;

please phone 9780 5255 and ask to speak to an Environmental Health Officer. If possible, retain a proof of purchase (receipt) and any uneaten portion of food.

Free food safety training

It is a requirement under the Food Act 2008 that any person handling food for the public must demonstrate adequate experience or training.

The Shire has available to all food businesses, community groups and charities a free online training course for food safety. The training course includes a certificate you can generate as proof of completion.

Liquor licensing

If you are applying for a liquor licence, you may need to apply for a Section 39 certificate and a Section 40 certificate from this Shire’s planning services. Please consult with the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor first to determine any requirements.

Further information

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Contact the Shire

Postal Address

PO Box 61
Margaret River WA 6285

Margaret River

41 Wallcliffe Road
Monday to Friday
9am-4pm
Ph 08 9780 5255
Fax 08 9757 2512

Augusta

66 Allnut Terrace
Monday to Friday
9am-12pm, 1pm-4pm
Ph 08 9780 5255

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