Operating a food premise or selling food

Food Premises

Unley is known as a great location for a coffee or a full restaurant experience, and everything in between.

Operators of food businesses are required to ensure that their premises are designed and constructed to minimise opportunities for food contamination. If you own, operate or are looking to start a food business, refer to the Food Premise Construction and Fit-out Guidelines Fact Sheet.(PDF, 151KB)

Before you start a food business

All food businesses are required by Food Act 2001 to officially notify Council before commencing operation of a food business or when ownership changes by means of completing and submitting a notification form.

Submit a food business notification

We also strongly advise that you seek advice from an Environmental Health Officer on the fit out of any food business before undertaking any upgrades of premises, to ensure that your works comply with requirements of the Food Safety Standards.

Temporary event/business selling of food

All temporary events involving food for sale require notification. Individual food stalls require completion of a Temporary Food Business Notification Form(PDF, 122KB) . If you are co-ordinating or organising a temporary event with multiple food stalls, please complete the Temporary Events Notification Form. 

All temporary food business notification forms must be returned to Council prior to the date of the event. This is required for all sporadic operations where a regular Food Business Notification is not suitable. For operation of a food business at markets, it is essential that a regular Notification is completed (not just a temporary events notification) so that a notification number can be provided to your market coordinator as evidence of your compliance with this aspect of the Food Act 2001.

Submit a temporary food business notification

Mobile Food Vending

Are you looking to run a Mobile food vending business in the City of Unley?

Find out more and apply. 

Read more about food safety and standards.

The food safety standards

The Food Safety Standards

Chapter Three of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code contains requirements for the establishment of new food businesses and the upgrading of existing ones.

Food Safety

The Department of Primary Industries and Resources (PIRSA) website contain useful information on food safety regulations and enforcement.

Food business notification

All businesses selling food are required to notify their local council. Under the Food Act a food business means a business, enterprise or activity (other than a primary food production business) that involves the handling of food intended for sale or the sale of food - regardless of whether the business, enterprise or activity concerned is of a commercial, charitable or community nature or whether it involves the handling or sale of food on one occasion only.

Food business even includes businesses like chemists, cinemas, corner stores, petrol stations and swimming pools, if they sell packaged or any other type of food. Food businesses, from major food manufacturers to the local church group that holds a once per year food fair, have defined responsibilities under the legislation to ensure the safety of food.

It is a legal requirement under the Food Act 2001, that every food business must be registered with the appropriate enforcement agency. Please ensure that the food business notification form is completed prior to commencement of a food business and returned to council.

For information on Food Business Notification visit the SA Government website.

Food safety and training

Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) regularly inspect venues where food is served to ensure compliance with the Food Safety Standards. These premises include public food outlets such as restaurants, cafés, and take-away shops, as well as premises where food is prepared, such as child care centres, schools, and aged care facilities. EHOs will also inspect temporary food preparation sites such as stalls at the Royal Showgrounds and other fairs and fêtes across the council area.

All routine food inspections under the Food Act 2001, are charged a statutory fee. Fees are subject to change in line with the Food (fees) Regulations.

EHOs may also investigate food handling complaints and instances of food poisoning at food premises. For general advice for food handlers or complaints regarding food handling, please contact the Environmental Health Team on 8372 5111.


The City of Unley takes food hygiene within our community very seriously. All food businesses have obligations and the City of Unley is assisting food businesses to meet these obligations by providing free access to this training tool. There is a high demand for training within the food sector. This training will assist food handlers in developing the required skills and knowledge to ensure food is handled in a safe and hygienic manner. The program is easy to follow, includes an entertaining presentation as well as interactive quizzes. A training acknowledgement form can be printed upon completion and be kept as a part of your staff records.

Visit I’M ALERT to conduct the training now.

Further food safety information is available on the SA Health website.

Food safety during extreme heat

It is important to follow safe food handling practices at all times, especially during periods of extreme heat.

Food poisoning is commonly caused by bacteria from food that has been poorly stored, handled or cooked.

Bacteria grow more quickly on food when the weather is hot and increases the risk of food poisoning.

These safety tips are to help you take the proper precautions to keep food safe in the event of extreme heat.

  • Wash your hands before preparing food
  • Keep fridges clean and uncluttered, and set at 5°C or below
  • Keep raw meat and poultry separate from other foods in the fridge, in a sealed container/bag and on the lowest shelf to avoid cross contamination
  • Defrost food in the fridge not on the kitchen bench
  • Prepare food close to the time it is going to be served
  • Do not refreeze any food after defrosting. Food should be cooked or thrown out if not used on the day of defrosting
  • Put left overs in the fridge as soon as they stop steaming
  • Never store leftovers of perishable foods out of the fridge and use refrigerated leftovers within 2 to 3 days
  • Do not reheat food more than once
  • Make sure the fridge door is closed properly at all times and there are no items preventing it from closing fully.

For further enquiries about the safe handling of food contact the Environmental Health team on (08) 8372 5111.


Safe food handling during power failure

It is important to follow safe food handling practices at all times, especially during periods of power failure.

Food poisoning is commonly caused by bacteria from food that has been poorly stored, handled or cooked.

These safety tips are to help you take the proper precautions to keep food safe in the event of power failure.

  • Record the time the power outage started, so you know how long your food has been without refrigeration

  • Place all refrigerated food together to keep food cool/colder longer

  • Place meat, poultry or fish in the coldest section of the refrigerator, making sure it does not drip onto fresh fruit and vegetables or other ready to eat food

  • If necessary, use ice to keep food cold

  • Keep refrigerator and freezer door closed as much as possible

  • A closed refrigerator should keep food cold for 4 to 6 hours

  • A closed, full freezer should keep food frozen for up to 48 hours, half a full freezer should keep food frozen for up to 24 hours

  • Do not put hot food in your refrigerator or freezer, as this will cause the temperatures inside to increase

  • If food in the fridge is above 5°C:

    • For less than 2 hours, you can re-refrigerate or use the food immediately

    • For between 2 and 4 hours, the food can be used, but must be used immediately

    • Any longer than 4 hours, you must throw the food out

If in doubt, throw it out.

For further enquiries about the safe handling of food contact the Environmental Health team on (08) 8372 5111.


Food safety star rating scheme

Food Safety Rating Schemes are used in Australia and overseas as a way of informing consumers about the food safety of businesses such as restaurants and cafés. The rating is calculated using the results of routine food safety inspections undertaken by local Council Environmental Health Officers (EHOs). This score is then represented as stars and displayed at the business.

SA Health had commenced a roll out of a state wide voluntary Food Safety Star Rating Scheme in April 2016. The City of Unley Environmental Health Team is participating in this scheme and it aims to improve food safety and consistency by providing consumers with a recognisable indication of the food safety compliance of a food business. 

Inspections of businesses will still occur on a routine basis and it is voluntary for the business to display their star rating. Not all food businesses fall within the scope of this Scheme, and not all councils will elect to participate in this pilot phase. Certificates are only awarded once a routine inspection is undertaken which may be once every 6 to 12 months. Just because a business is not displaying a certificate does not mean they are unsafe.

After completion of the inspection, relevant businesses will be given a score that will translate into a Star Rating of up to 5 stars on a certificate. A higher Star Rating will reflect the achieved level of compliance with food safety standards.

5 Stars – Excellent Star Rating
4 Stars – Very Good Star Rating
3 Stars - Good Star Rating

Businesses that do not achieve the 3 Star Rating level will not be awarded a Star Rating. These businesses will need to work with the Council to improve their compliance with food safety standards. In all circumstances, advice, support and follow up actions will continue to be undertaken by the Environmental Health Officers to ensure continual improvement in the safety of food handling practices.

For more information visit the SA Health website or phone an Environmental Health Officer on (08) 8372 5111.


Food Safety Rating Scheme Consumer Info(PDF, 587KB)

Food Safety Rating Scheme Business Brochure(PDF, 368KB)