Food and beverage management

Learn about food and beverage and alcohol permits when planning an event.

Our Health Services Unit is responsible for the administration of food registrations and the enforcement of the Food Act 1984.

Essentially, you as the event organiser advise your Events Project Officer as to who your food and beverage participants are. This information will be provided to City of Greater Geelong Health Services Unit.

It is the joint responsibility of the event organiser and the food/beverage vendors to ensure compliance with the Food Act 1984. Under the Act, the sale of beverages (drinks) and alcohol are considered to be ‘food’ and therefore will require a temporary food registration or notification.

What is the food vendor responsible for?

Food/beverage vendors are responsible for applying for the relevant registrations/notifications from Streatrader and the City of Greater Geelong Health Services Unit.

Some food vendors may be registered with a Council other than the City of Greater Geelong. The vendor will still be required to lodge a statement of trade with the Health Services Unit.

Definition of a temporary food/beverage vendor

A temporary food/beverage vendor is defined as a business that operates from a temporary structure such as a marquee with cooking and serving equipment inside.

The equipment and appliances are set up, food and drink is prepared and/or sold - and after the event the structure and equipment is dismantled and moved on.

What is the Event Organiser responsible for?

You are responsible for the overall management of the food/beverage vendors at the event, including site placement, provision of services (such as waste management), access to utilities and overall risk management.

It is also important that you are aware of the food vendors responsibilities under the Food Act 1984.

Why do Food Vendors require a registration/notification?

The food application process ensures that the public receives the same diligence and regard for hygiene from temporary food premises as they would from a permanent food business.

Temporary Food/Beverage Registrations and Notifications ensure that:

  • The operator is aware of their responsibility to ensure that the preparation, storage and service of food/beverage at each venue are in accordance with guidelines.
  • All food/beverage handlers have a clear understanding of what can cause contamination and food poisoning and are able to demonstrate the methods taken to minimise these risks.
  • All food/beverages are displayed, served and stored in a manner that will protect them from contamination and spoilage.

What types of Food and Beverage Permits are there?

There are two types of Permits, a Temporary Food Registration or notification of a temporary food premises, and a Liquor Consumption Permit.

What is the difference between a registration and a notification?

Registration applies to high risk food activity which includes cooking and reheating of foods for sale, as well as storage of perishable foods which require refrigeration.

Notification is in regards to low risk food such as packaged drinks, packaged shelf stable food, whole uncut fruit and vegetables, and simple sausage sizzles (sausages, bread, onion, sauce only). This process is simplified to reflect the nature of risk associated with the foods sold.

Applying for a Temporary Food Registration

Go online to Streatrader, a registration tool for community groups and businesses selling food from a food stall, truck, van or cart.

Or refer to our Temporary and Portable Food Premises Registration page for details.

Completing a Notification of Temporary Food Premises

Download the Notification of a Temporary Food Premises application form.

How should the Event Organiser notify the Events Project Leader to the events food and beverage options available at the event?

Provide your event project leader with a list of vendors that you have invited to participate in the event. Refer to 'Food Management Plan' section of the Events Planning Guide

Note: Vendors selling alcohol need to apply for a Temporary Limited License from Consumer Affairs Victoria in addition to any requirements under the Food Act 1984.

Note: If the event is likely to be held during the Fire Danger Period and on a Total Fire Ban Day and there are external flames operating at the event, then you should apply to the CFA for a schedule 40 permit.

Food Safety Management should form part of your Risk Assessment.

Alfresco or Extended Alfresco

If there are businesses at or abutting the event site that wish to apply for (or extend) an alfresco permit they will need to apply to the City of Greater Geelong Health Services Unit. You should discuss this proposal with your Events Officer in the first instance.

For more information about any of the permits listed above contact our Health and Local Laws Department.

Selling and serving alcohol

As the event organiser it is your responsibility to manage alcohol at the event. There are a number of things to consider including permit applications, development of plans, hiring qualified staff, providing access to adequate toilet facilities, free drinking water, security guards and overseeing how alcohol is served responsibly during the event.

The Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 stipulates that anyone selling or serving liquor needs to obtain the correct licence. A liquor licence is required whenever liquor is supplied either directly or as part of an inclusive charge. There are different types of licenses required for certain types of events or selling arrangements.

Along with obtaining a license, you will also be required to develop a liquor management plan, which shows where security will be, what their roles are, if any are RSA trained etc.

The Event Planning Guide explains the different types of permits there are and what information a Liquor Management Plan should have.

For more information please contact the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulations.

Page last updated: Thursday, 24 December 2020