Food safety

A new national Food Safety Standard is in place to assist food businesses in handling and processing food in a way to ensure it is safe to eat.

In December 2022, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) added Standard 3.2.2A – Food Safety Management Tools into the Food Standards Code. The Standard is an extension of existing requirements and introduces three food safety management tools for food service, caterers and some retail businesses.

Affected businesses must have the new requirements in place by December 2023. Visit SA Health for more information.

Your obligations for safe food handling, storage and processing

The abundance and availability of amazing food and produce are one of the great things about living in Adelaide. Did you know there are over 1,000 food businesses located within Adelaide city and North Adelaide? 

As an owner of a food business, you are required to notify council when you begin trading. 

Food safety standards and compliance

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand is a government agency which controls the Food Standards Code that all food handling businesses must comply with. The Code contains a lot of information, so if you need help or guidance regarding food safety please contact us.

The City of Adelaide’s Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) are involved in conducting routine inspections of food handling businesses to ensure compliance with the Food Act 2001 and regulations as well as to provide advice and guidance on food safety to business owners.

Some areas they look out for are:

  • deliveries
  • storage
  • processing (preparing, cooking, serving)
  • displays (bain-maries, cabinets, etc.)
  • packaging
  • transportation and distribution
  • recalls/food disposal
  • health, hygiene and knowledge of the food handlers
  • general condition and hygiene of the food premises.

Food inspection fees

If your food businesses are inspected by EHOs and is found to be compliant we will waive your inspection fee.

Those food businesses that are non-compliant will incur a food inspection fee for the initial routine inspection. For each non-compliant follow-up inspection (required until the business is inspected and is compliant), a fee will also be charged.

All inspection fees are based on the City of Adelaide’s fees and charges schedule.

Food safety at events

Planning to prepare or sell food at an event? There are some things you need to do to keep everyone safe:

  • have hand-wash facilities within your stall/van
  • sanitise your utensils and food contact surfaces
  • control your food temperature - have a digital probe thermometer ready to use
  • protect your food from contamination (i.e. during transportation, storage and display)
  • if you're using barbeques or hotplates, make sure you have a protective barrier to prevent public access
  • dispose of sullage and wastewater from hand-wash facilities, cooking, utensil wash facilities into sullage tanks, sewage drains or back at home. Do not dispose of wastewater onto Park Lands, storm water drains, the Torrens Lake or any other water courses or public land.

Refer to the Temporary Food Premises guidelines for more information and your responsibilities under the Food Act 2001 and Food Safety Standards.

Food safety rating schemes – good for business

You’ve probably seen the gold stars in the window of your favourite food outlet. These are the result of the Food Safety Rating Scheme, designed to inform the public about the food safety practices of food businesses.

The rating is calculated using the results of our routine food safety inspections. Businesses are awarded 0, 3, 4 or 5 stars. Currently, businesses can voluntarily choose to display their certificate at the site of inspection.

We believe that there are significant public health benefits to be achieved from this Scheme. More information regarding this Scheme, supporting documentation and contact details can be found on the SA Health Food Safety Rating Scheme website. If you can’t see a star rating in your favourite restaurant, ask them about it!

A note on doggy bags

Many customers request a “doggy bag” to take leftovers home with them if they are unable to finish their meal. The Food Act does not prevent food businesses from providing doggy bags to customers, so it is up to each business if they wish to do this.

Consumers should expect leftover food to be placed in a new, food grade container and the date should be marked on it. Make sure you either eat or refrigerate your leftovers as soon as possible. If you are reheating them later, make sure they are piping hot before you enjoy them.

Food safety programs

Food businesses such as hospitals, age care centres, child care centres and mobile food service delivery organisations are required to :

  • implement a suitable Food safety program; or
  • review an existing Food safety program to ensure it complies with the Food safety standards; and
  • coordinate an audit of the Food Safety Program by a Department of Health approved Food Safety Auditor.

For further information on Food Safety Programs and a list of approved food safety auditors within South Australia, please visit SA Health.

The City of Adelaide also provides a free online food safety training program. 

DoFoodSafely is a free, non-accredited, online learning program provided by the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria and proudly supported by Queensland Health and South Australia Health.

DoFoodSafely is designed to enable you to understand how to safely work with, and handle, food in commercial settings.

By reading through the information in the seven topics below, you will be ready to undertake the assessment quiz and gain your DoFoodSafely Certificate of Completion – a certificate that is well-respected by the food industry across Australia.

This training can easily be translated into Vietnamese, Arabic & Simplified Chinese by using the drop down menu at the top of the page.

The DoFoodSafely FAQs page can answer any questions you may have around the program.

Are you thinking about using your home to prepare food for sale? 

This includes preparing food for local markets or school canteens, catering for events, B&Bs, farm-stay, childcare businesses and online food sales from home.

Food safety standards and other regulations still apply, so we've put together a brochure about operating home based food businesses to help you. Good luck!

This course is designed to assist proprietors and workers in any food business to gain knowledge about food allergens, and to develop best practice procedures for making their food business safe for customers with allergies.

Start online training

Need more information?

The SA Health’s pages on food industry sector Information and food safety has a wealth of additional information about food safety. If you have any questions relating to the City of Adelaide’s EHOs and their processes, please contact the City of Adelaide's Customer Centre: