As of the 1st July 2018, Local Councils will regulate all domestic kitchens where food is prepared and sold directly to the customer. Environmental health officers from the local council are entitled to register, visit and inspect premises involved in a food business and may conduct inspections for food standards and other council environmental regulations, reports of food-borne illness may also require inspections. Inspection fees may be incurred.

Domestic kitchens that only sell food to other businesses, such as cafés, restaurants and supermarkets, will continue to be regulated by the NSW Food Authority.

What is a home based food business?

Home businesses which are regulated by local councils sell directly to the final customer and may include; preparing food at home and selling the product at a market, school canteens, catering for events and online food sales.

Strathfield Council upon the registration of the home based business will only accept Low and Medium risk businesses. The classification of business practices are below;

Low Risk

The business produces only non-potentially hazardous foods and must meet all of the following criteria;

  • Foods that are determined to be of high level risk, with potential to cause human illness (e.g. raw egg products, such as aioli and mayonnaise) are to not be handled or used on the premise.
  • The food produced is not intended for vulnerable persons, such as aged care homes and childcare facilities.
  • Has an appointed Food Safety Supervisor with a current certificate
  • The total volume of food produced is less than 10kg per week, which is equivalent to 40 x 250gm serves.
  • If any the above circumstances change the local enforcement agency is required to be notified.

Medium Risk:

A home-based food business is considered to be at least “Medium” risk if it does not meet one or more of the low risk home-based businesses criteria.

High Risk:

If a business performs any of the following criteria, it is determined to be “High” risk.

  • large scale operations,
  • prepare or supply to vulnerable populations, or
  • Undertake high risk processes/activities (e.g. raw egg products, smoking meats, sous vide).

Strathfield Council will not approve high risk home based food businesses, with the exception of:

• Family Day Care Schemes, where the Family Day Care Scheme and the Approved Provider are approved by NSW Department Education Early Childcare Directorate; or

• Home Based Child Care, where the Approved Provider is approved by NSW Department Education Early Childcare Directorate.

What steps should I take?

Notify Strathfield Council before you start your business. You can do this through the Application to Register – Home Based Business Form. The cost of registration is $70.00.  Annual registration is required.

Notify Strathfield Council if you change your business’s name, location or food activities before these changes are made.

Notification records are private for each food business, so if you purchase an existing business you need to notify council again with your details.

What are my Responsibilities when running my Home Based Business?

As with all food businesses, those based at home must also meet the food safety requirements as other retail food businesses are required to do.

To do this you must meet the requirements of the Food Act 2003 and Food Standards Code

◦Standard 3.2.2 - Food Safety Practices and General Requirements

◦Standard 3.2.3 - Food Premises and Equipment

◦Part 1.2 - Labelling and other information requirements

Appoint a Food Safety Supervisor

A Food Safety Supervisoris required as anyone in charge of a food business should be able to identify all relevant food safety issues and control them as well as the specific obligations for food safety skills and knowledge of food handlers as individuals.

Safe and Hygienic handling of food

It is likely that Home Based Businesses are run and operated by an individual, therefore it is beneficial to consider how to keep the operation running if yourself or the usual food handlers are sick. People who are sick must not prepare or handle food for sale.

The safe and hygienic handling of food is required of home based businesses. Some of these include;

  • preventing other people living at or visiting the premises from accessing food preparation areas
  • preventing young children and pets from access to food preparation or storage areas
  • avoiding cross contamination between ready-to-eat food and raw food or ingredients – including from food contact surfaces, utensils, sinks, taps, splash areas, tea towels and so on
  • cooking food thoroughly without overloading the oven
  • keeping cold food below 5°C and keeping frozen food hard frozen ( A domestic fridge / freezer may not be able to maintain these temperatures, - overloading domestic refrigerators and constantly opening the door means food takes longer to cool giving harmful microorganisms have more chance to grow)
  • monitoring temperature with digital probe thermometers in the oven and refrigerator

Premise Construction and Design

The following are some of the requirements of the designated space for food preparation within the home.

  • Convenient hand wash basin/s with warm running water, soap and single-use towels.

In relation to Appendix 10 of Food Standards Code Australia New Zealand relating to Clause 17 and Subclause 17(2) home based businesses are exempt from the requirement of having a hand washing facility solely for the use of washing hands, face and arms. You should seek advice from your local council on your set up and production within the home.

To avoid contamination and ensure the hand washing facilities are always available, the methods can be;

  • Have only 1 -2 people in the kitchen while production is in process
  • Organise the production activities by time, so the sink can be used for one purpose at a time
  • Clean and sanitise the sink between using the sink for hand washing and food preparation.
  • Food is kept protected from pests and vermin at all stages, including storage of ingredients
  • Premises are designed to exclude pests wherever  practical
  • A layout that provides enough space for people to produce food without the risk of contamination (e.g. to keep raw and cooked foods separate and to keep waste away from food)
  • Enough storage to protect food and packaging
  • Floors, walls and benches that can be easily cleaned

Cleaning and sanitising

  • Keep the premises clear of rubbish, food waste, dirt and grease
  • Keep food contact surfaces like benches, utensils and containers clean and sanitised with a food grade sanitiser. Most domestic dishwashers are not adequate for sanitising.

Food traceability

  • Keep records of your ingredients and suppliers, and businesses you’ve sold to
  • If you manufacture food or import food for repackaging ensure to have a written recall plan in place if a recall is required

Labelling

  • If you are packaging food for sale there are various labelling requirements which include: name of the food, production 'lot' of the food prepared under the same conditions during a span of time, name and street address in Australia or New Zealand of the supplier of the food, list of ingredients, ‘best before’ or ‘use-by’ marking as appropriate to the products, directions for use and storage, a Nutrition Information Panel (NIP) the country of origin of the product and its ingredients, warning and advisory statements and declaration of allergens.

If you require further information please contact Strathfield Municipal Council’s Environmental Health Officers on  council@strathfield.nsw.gov.au