Food Premises Inspections

Food businesses within the Singleton Local Government Area (LGA) are inspected to ensure compliance with the Food Standards CodeFood Act and Food Regulation. This includes fixed premises, mobile food vehicles and temporary food stalls at special events and markets.

Fees are charged for inspections and re-inspections. An invoice for payment will be sent after the inspection. Event organisers are charged inspection fees at the hourly rate.

Food premises are also charged an Annual Administration Fee in accordance with the Food Regulation 2015. Council uses this charge to cover the cost of functions including but not limited to: the provision of training for food handlers, educational resources, newsletters, fact sheets and general administration related to the inspection of the food business.

The charge is calculated relative to the number of full-time equivalent food handlers working at the premises.

Current inspection and administration fees can be found in Singleton Councils Fees and Charges.

Food businesses can fill in the Food Business Update Form to give Council their details or update them including number of full time equivalent employees for the purpose of calculating administration fees.

If your business is issued with an Improvement Notice, a fee of $330 will be charged under the Food Act 2003. The fee is designed to cover the cost of preparing and serving the Improvement Notice on the proprietor of the food business and the cost of one re-inspection.

Administration Fee Calculations 

The administration fee is calculated relative to the number of full-time equivalent food handlers working at the premises for all high and medium risk premises.

A food handler is defined as a person who directly engages in the handling of food for a food business. Staff involved solely in administrative or clerical tasks are not considered food handlers. Additionally, staff involved solely on register/check out duties are not considered to be food handlers for the purposes of determining the annual administrative charge.

The award for retail premises employees generally involves a 38hr/week.

The number of full time equivalent (FTE) food handlers can be calculated as below:

No. of food handles x time handling food per week (hours) / 38 hours

The annual administration charge is invoiced after the premises first inspection for the financial year.

Inspection Assessment Criteria 

Inspections of food premises are mainly unannounced to ensure food businesses are complying at all times. Singleton Council uses the Food Premises Assessment Report (FPAR) to assess fixed food premises.

The assessment against the FPAR is undertaken electronically on a IPAD and a copy of the report is sent to the food business owner either electronically or in the post. The report contains photographs of the breaches.

The FPAR was designed by NSW Food Authority in conjunction with councils to provide a standard assessment report for NSW. The aim of the FPAR is to gain consistency of inspections between officers and councils. It also assists food businesses to gain a better understanding of the legislation by providing explanatory notes and definitions, which are found on the back of the report. Food businesses are encouraged to use the FPAR as a self assessment tool.

While carrying out inspections, authorised officers will ensure that the premises meet legislative compliance. Some of these critical areas include:

  • Cleaning and sanitising of food contact surfaces
  • Temperature control (eg temperature of stored and displayed foods)
  • Hygiene of food handlers (eg hand washing)
  • Pest control
  • Construction and maintenance of the premises
  • Food handling practices (eg minimising cross contamination) 
  • Sale of unsafe or unsuitable food