Preparing Foods from Home
If you are thinking of preparing food at home for sale or consumption, Council's Duty Planner is available to advise you if development consent is required. If development consent is required, then you will need to lodge the appropriate application along with the applicable fee for Council to assess. You can get in contact by phoning T 02 6578 7290, or visiting Council's Administration Building.
Once you have been given consent or if Council's Duty Planning Officer advises that you do not need consent, you will then need to register your business with NSW Fair Trading and Council. All food businesses operating in Singleton must also adhere to Council's Food Safety Program.
Building requirements for food preparation
Manufacturing of foods at home for sale requires development consent from Council or alternatively may be undertaken as complying development if the provisions of subdivision 2 home businesses of the State Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 can be complied with.
Home-based businesses will need to comply with requirements of Food Safety Standard 3.2.3 and are normally restricted to producing low risk foods such as jams, chutneys and biscuits.
Important issues include:
- Separation of domestic and commercial uses
- Exclusion of pests, animals and children
- Smooth and impervious surfaces
- Dedicated hand washing facilities – supplied with warm running water through a common spout, liquid soap and paper towel
- Adequate storage of potentially hazardous foods (e.g. refrigeration)
Appendix 10 of the Guide to Food Safety Standards provides guidance on home-based food businesses complying with Chapter 3 of the Food Standards Code.
From 1 July 2018:
When a food business sells direct to the final customer
(eg from the premises or from a market/school canteen etc), local councils will regulate these home-based businesses. It is the responsibility of the business to notify the local council of their business and food activity details. Notification is satisfied via a Food business update form.
Councils may conduct inspections for food standards and other council environmental regulations.
When businesses do not retail food direct to the customer
(eg they only sell to other businesses such as a cafe, supermarket or restaurant to on-sell), they need to notify the NSW Food Authority of their business and food activity details.
To notify, go to www.foodnotify.nsw.gov.au
The Food Authority’s inspection program across food industries is limited to higher risk operations. Ready-to-eat, potentially hazardous foods such as sandwiches, salads, non-preservative sauces would be routinely inspected, whilst non-potentially-hazardous foods like jams, chutneys, biscuits or chocolates would not. Whether a home-based food business falls within the inspection program will be determined on a case-by-case basis. An alternative to manufacturing foods from home and gaining consent, is to hire a commercial kitchen for use. Commercial kitchens may be found in many halls/function centres and some premises don’t operate every day and may hire out when not in use. If foods are produced in a hired commercial kitchen, it is good practice to get a letter from the leasee advising that you hire their commercial kitchen for manufacturing foods.