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Food Safety for businesses

If you operate – or plan to operate – a food service business, you need to adhere to a range of legislation, and we are here to help you ensure your food handling meets all the legal requirements.

There are about 1,200 food businesses that operate within our councils’ footprint, including mobile and home-based business, and they all need to comply with the Food Act 2001, Food Regulations 2002 and the Food Safety Standards.

We promote food safety and help you meet legislative requirements by:

  • conducting routine food safety inspections
  • investigating complaints
  • providing information and education about safe food handling practices
  • conducting food safety audits at food businesses that service food to vulnerable populations (aged care, hospitals, delivered meals and childcare businesses)
  • assisting SA Health with food recalls and food poisoning outbreak situations

Opening a new food business?

Whether you are operating a café, restaurant, home-based or mobile food service, or any business that sells food to the public you need to comply with the legislation.

The Food Act 2001 requires that businesses handling or selling food must complete a Food Business Notification form and return it us no less than a fortnight before commencing business. You can submit this form directly online by clicking here or download the form and return it to EHA. 

You only need to do this once unless details, such as business ownership, trading name or address change. It is free to lodge, but please be aware that fines may apply if you operate without notifying us.

Once we get your form, we will send you an acknowledgement so you know we have received and processed your form. You will also recieve an EHA Welcome Pack with further information about food safety to help you get started. 

Please note you may also need to contact your council in relation to any development approval requirements. 

Free pre-opening inspections

If you plan to open a new food business, the good news is that if you notify us first, we can arrange a FREE pre-opening inspection as well as a review of your design plans.

This is a great opportunity for you to liaise with an EHO in regards to the best design and layout options to ensure that the structure and fit out of your premises meets the requirements specified by the food safety standards. 

Prior to opening you can complete our self-assessment checklist to confirm you are compliant with the requirements of the food safety standards. 

For information on construction and fit out of a food business please refer to the Construction & Fit-out Guidelines or call us on 8132 3600.

Food Safety Inspections

Our EHOs regularly inspect all food businesses to not only check compliance, but to work with owners and staff to ensure they understand and meet their legislative obligations. We complement our enforcement role under the Food Act 2001, with educating business owners and food handlers about food safety.  

How often we inspect your food business depends on a number of issues, including the risk category of your business, as well as previous compliance history.

If a routine inspection shows any non-compliances, our EHOs may schedule a follow-up inspection at no cost to you. If, however, two or more additional follow-ups are required, we may charge an inspection fee.

Fees and Charges

Food business are responsible for the cost of routine food inspections:

  • Small Business  - P1 and P2 - $140.00

  • Small Business – P3 - $98.00

  • Large Business – P1 and P2 - $350.00

  • Large businesses – P3 - $245.00

    Read the full inspection fee policy here - Food Business Inspection Fee Policy

home-based food businesses

If you run a home-based food business, you still need to comply with the Food Act 2001Food Regulations 2002 and the Food Safety Standards.  

Whether you make cupcakes, create spice mixes or cook pastries to sell at a local market, if you prepare, store or transport food for sale, or intended for sale, we strongly recommend you contact one of our friendly EHOs before starting your home-based food business. We can assess whether your home is suitable for the safe production of food.

Please ensure that you notify us at least two weeks before launching your home-based food business. Click here to download a food business notification form.

For more information, please call us on 8132 3600 or download information on operating a home-based food business and to arrange an assessment of your kitchen. 

food safety training for food handlers

To assist food businesses with their training needs, Eastern Health Authority has developed a Basic Training course aimed at educating food handlers on Fundamental safe food knowledge and practices.

For more information on the course and to register your intrest on the next avaliable course, please register via the link below.


All food businesses have a responsibility to ensure that food is handled safely in accordance with the Food Act 2001. This is important to reduce the likelihood of foodborne illnesses and outbreaks which can lead to long term health impacts and even death. A food poisoning outbreak could be devastating for your business. Therefore, it is important to ensure your staff have a good understanding of the principles of food safety and apply them in the food business.


Click here for a fact sheet for Takeaway Food Businesses: COVID-19 Considerations


South Australians are continuing their commitment to protecting the environment with stage 2 of the Single-use and Other Plastic Products (Waste Avoidance) Act 2020 coming into effect in 2022.

From March 1 expanded polystyrene cups, bowls, plates, clamshell containers and all oxo-degradable plastic products will be prohibited from sale, supply and distribution. Oxo-degradable products are also prohibited from production and manufacture in South Australia. Now is the time to prepare so we can ensure the best environmental outcome for our ‘clean and green’ state.

Click here for more information and what this means for your food business.


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