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Food Premises Inspection Program

One of Council's statutory roles is to conduct routine food premises inspection throughout the Hurstville local government area.  The purpose of such inspections is to ensure food premises maintain a high standard of hygiene and food handling practices and to ensure the construction of the food premises is maintained in a satisfactory manner to minimise risk such as food poisoning associated with the food sold for human consumption. 

Hurstville City Council is committed to its food premises inspection program. Food premises are subject to annual inspections conducted by Council's Environmental Health Officers who are qualified and experienced in giving professional advice on food related matters to food business proprietors, food handlers and consumers.  

Food Premises Inspections are conducted without giving prior notices to the proprietor or staff of the food business.  

Some of the benefits of Councils food premises inspection program include:

  • Ensuring compliance with relevant legislative requirements
  • Minimising risk associated with food poisoning
  • Minimising risk associated with food being contaminated
  • Promotes hygiene awareness and increase knowledge amongst food handlers
  • Promotes safe food practices amongst food handlers
  • To provide valuable advice and the latest updates on food legislative requirements
  • Increase consumer confidence which can lead to increase in business trade
Food Premises Classification

All food premises are grouped into four categories based on the risk of contamination associated with the food sold or handled by each food business:

Priority 1 (P1) - these are high risk food premises that requires special licenses from the NSW Food Authority to operate.  These may include manufacturers and primary producers.  These food premises are inspected by the NSW Food Authority food inspectors only. 

Priority 2 (P2) - these are high risk food premises that are subject to annual inspections by Council's Environmental Health Officers.  Food premises that falls under this category includes restaurants, cafés, schools, child care centers and take-away outlets. 

Priority 3 (P3) - these are medium risk food that are subject to annual inspection by Council's Environmental Health Officers.  Food premises that falls under this category includes fruit and vegetables shops and supermarkets selling packaged food only and coffee shops selling packaged food only.

Priority 4 (P4) - these are low risk food business that are not subject to Council's routine food premises inspection.  Food premises that falls under this category includes include include news agencies and pharmacies. 

Food Premises that falls in the category Priority 2 and Priority 3 will be subject to Council fees and charges when inspected.

What to expect during a food premises inspection?  

When conducting a food business inspection, Council’s Environmental Health Officers will:

  1. arrive at the food premises due for inspection without prior notice
  2. present themselves at the front counter, advise they will be conducting an inspection under the Food Act 2003 and request to speak to a person with the authority to represent the business
  3. conduct the inspection while the business is open for trading
  4. record all non-compliance with food legislation using a camera or other recording device.
  5. produce a written report for food business at the end of the inspection, detailing the outcome. The number and severity of non-compliance will determine the type of enforcement action Council will take to bring the business operations to a satisfactory standard.

In the course of the inspection, the Authorised Officer can:

  • answer any questions the food business has relating to the report and other related food safety matters
  • provide proof of identity, on request
  • conduct the inspection with or without the presence of the person authorised to represent the business.
What is inspected?

During the inspection Council’s Authorised Officer will look at aspects of the premises including, but not limited to:

  • construction and maintenance of food premises and equipment
  • storage and handling of food, non-food items and equipment
  • temperature control of potentially hazardous food
  • personal hygiene and knowledge of food handlers and supervisors
  • pest control and pest control program

When is a re-inspection conducted?

When necessary, Council will undertake a re-inspection to enforce compliance with food legislation. This will be undertaken for all non-compliances with food legislation where the risk is considered greater than low and the non-compliance cannot be immediately rectified.  Food premises requiring re-inspections are subject to the same fees and charges as a standard routine food premises inspection.      

What happens when food premises fails to comply with food safety standards? 
Food premises are expected to maintain a satisfactory level of standards in relation to food safety and maintenance.  When food premises fail to comply with the standards, Council's Environmental Health Officers will take necessary action/s to ensure these standards are met.   Actions that Council's Enviornmental Health Officers may take are found in Food Business Enforcement.
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