If a food business has not previously operated from the premises, it is likely you will need to obtain 'development consent' to operate a food business in this location.
This is a relatively easy process to undertake. Council's
development applications page provides useful information about the DA process.
When submitting your development application ensure you include a scale plan of the food business, including the kitchen and food storage areas. Ideally, plans should be professionally drawn and include details of fixtures and finishes. Plans for small scale activities may be hand drawn but must still include details of fixtures and finishes.
There is an Australian Standard for the construction of food business (AS/NZS 4674:2004-Design, construction and fit-out of a food premises), which will promote compliance with the Food Act 2003 (NSW). The Australian Standard is available from Standards Australia however access fees apply. If you are not licenced to access Standards Australia then the
Food Premises, Design, Construction and Fit Out Guide document will help you determine minimum standards for fixtures and fittings for the site.
Once your application is received* it will be assessed by the relevant Council officers and may require a site visit to be undertaken. If Officers wish to undertake a site visit they will contact you to arrange a mutually convenient time. If the food business is in a residential property, the officers will only need to see the specific area of the property used in connection with the food business, such as food preparation and food storage areas.
Although Council officers can use discretion when applying the Australian Standard for home based food businesses, if you are intending to use a domestic kitchen for your food business the standard of the kitchen must be appropriate for the type of food manufacturing you are intending. For example production of low risk foods such as muffins and bread etc. will not require the same high standards as production of
potentially hazardous foods such as soups, sandwiches, pies etc. Your application cannot be approved unless you can demonstrate that relevant food safety controls are possible within the domestic setting.
Prior to obtaining final approval (Occupation Certificate) you will need to meet the conditions applied to the development consent. The conditions will include:
- Provide certification that the fit out meets the
Food Act 2003 and the Australian Standard requirements.
- Provide evidence that a nominated food safety supervisor has been appointed.
- Notify the business to Council (or the NSW Food Authority as applicable).
The certification of the fit out must be undertaken by an appropriatly qualified professional. Council Environment Health Officers can provide this service subject to the appropriate fee being paid. To request this service please complete and submit a Health Enquiry Form. On receipt of the form an Officer will contact you and arrange a mutually convenient time to undertake the site visit. Please allow at least seven working days for this service.
Once your business begins to trade Council Officers will undertake a regulatory inspection within the financial year.
Please be aware that fixed food businesses in Coffs Harbour are rated against the
Scores on Doors Scheme and scores are published via the Scores on the
Doors Australia website.
*You may also use a private certifier to assist you in the develoment application process. The requirements and standards are the same, however the certifier will have the authority to sign off and issue an Occupation Certificate. Refer to Council's
development application page for more detailed information.