Food Safety

Food safety is everyone's responsibility.

Incorrect food handling practices can lead to illnesses and in extreme cases, may even result in death of vulnerable people (such as the aged, infants, or the chronically ill).

The Department of Health and Human Services, in particular Food Safety Victoria, has general oversight of the administration of the Food Act 1984 (Vic), but we share this responsibility.

Our Environmental Health Unit provides advice on safe food handling for all areas of our community, including businesses, charities, community, sporting and church groups, as well as individuals.

We also have regulatory obligations for any business and community group selling food to the public. If you operate a food business, safe food handling practices ensure that your business remains viable.

In the home, safe food handling ensures our families and friends enjoy their food without illness.

Personal hygiene is essential for people working with food, at home or at work.

At home and in the community

There are a few simple ways you can help ensure the food you buy and take home for yourself, your family or friends remains safe.

Food Safety Victoria website has helpful information.

If you are a charity, community, sporting, church or other not-for-profit group selling food to the public there are requirements which must be met.

Learn more about Temporary and Portable Food Premises Registration.

If you are giving food away, that is not charging a fee, or asking for a donation or a cover charge for an event where food is included, you still need to ensure the food is safe to eat.

Information sheets on food safety are also available in many languages.

Food businesses

If you are operating or thinking of starting a food business you will need to have a food registration.

The Food Standards Code and the Food Act are used by our Environmental Health Officers to ensure food safety in food businesses.

Food complaint

If you believe that you have:

  • purchased food which is not safe to eat; or
  • become ill from eating food which you have purchased from a food business; or
  • seen unsafe food handling practices.

you can register a food complaint with us.

Drinking water

Safe drinking water is an important part of food safety as food is cleaned as part of food preparation. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that reticulated mains water is used for drinking and food preparation in areas where it is provided, as this is the safest.

When reticulated water is not available you may be required to rely on a private drinking water supply such as rain or bore water. The document Your private drinking water supply for information about safe drinking water in these circumstances.

Page last updated: Monday, 9 May 2022