Opening a Food Business

Regulations and compliance for operation a food business

Once you make the decision to start a food business in the Parkes Shire, there are several steps you have to follow before you can legally begin to operate. These are designed to protect the consumer and ensure that the proper food business procedures are followed.


If you are building a new food premises or plan to make changes to an existing kitchen, you must ensure that your design and construction meets the Food Standards Code adopted by the NSW Food Act 2003.

Notification of a new food business

Before opening a new food business you must notify Parkes Shire Council by downloading the Food Business Notification Form and returning it to Council.

Appoint a food safety supervisor

Most NSW food businesses require a Food Safety Supervisor. A Food Safety Supervisor is an employee who has completed formal food safety training. For further information visit the NSW Food Authority webpage.

Scores on Doors

Scores on Doors is a system that rates local food businesses according to their compliance with food safety legislation. The scoring system, as implemented by councils in conjunction with the NSW Food Authority, is based on the requirements of food safety laws and the risks to food-borne illness.

Council conducts inspections of local food businesses to ensure their continued compliance with food safety legislation. At the time of inspection, eligible businesses will be given a score dependent on their level of compliance.

Businesses will receive a certificate with a star rating, which the business can choose to display. Businesses that are non-compliant with food safety legislation or are not eligible to participate in the program will NOT receive a certificate. Businesses will receive a new score and certificate after each routine food safety inspection.

Food safety

Approximately seven million Australians suffer from food-borne illness each year. The NSW Food Authority is responsible for regulating and monitoring food safety across the entire food industry supply chain in NSW - from paddock to plate.

Food businesses within NSW must comply with the following legislation and standards:

Parkes Shire Council Food Safety Program

Parkes Shire Council Food Safety Program is aimed at ensuring food sold within Parkes is safe and suitable.  The program is designed to educate food businesses on best practices and regulate food businesses for compliance with legislation.

Council as Enforcement Agency

Parkes Shire Council is appointed as an Enforcement Agency by the Food Authority. The Food Authority and Enforcement Agencies work together under the system known as known as the Food Regulation Partnership.

Each enforcement agency may exercise powers under the Food Act 2003, subject to any limitations and conditions imposed. Appointments are limited to specific geographic areas.  There are three categories of Enforcement Agency with Parkes Shire Council operating under as a Category B which is the standard function level for an enforcement agency and has enforcement responsibilities for retail food businesses. Responsibilities include the power to routinely inspect premises, examine food and investigate certain complaints about retail outlets.

Routine inspections

Parkes Shire Council will routinely inspect your business to ensure you comply with the law. Parkes Shire Council will also provide you with assistance and advice to help you and your business meet the highest food safety standards possible.

Valuable information on operating a food business can be found at the NSW Food Authority website.

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