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Food safety

Council's Environmental Health Officers play an important role in maintaining food safety within the Port Stephens area. This is achieved by;

  • conducting food safety inspections of local food businesses to ensure compliance with relevant food safety legislation;
  • food safety education initiatives (including I'm Alert); and
  • investigation of food related complaints (where appropriate).

Prospective business operators in the food industry are strongly advised to consult with Council before commencing or operating a new food business.

If you are taking over an existing food business and will not be making any structural changes please fill out and submit the registration form found below. If you will be taking over a food business and making structural changes, or fitting out a food business from scratch then you will need to lodge a development application.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, in addition to getting approval from Bunnings, you will also need to fill out and return the Food Stall (Temporary) Application form from our A-Z forms page and return to Council's Environmental Health Team at least 14 days prior to the event.

Yes, however you will need to obtain permission from the event organiser, and also register your food stall with Council's Environmental Health Team at least 14 days prior to the event. This can be done by filling out the Temporary Event Food Stall Application form you can view from our A-Z forms page.

It is important to notify Council's Environmental Health Team of any changes to your business so that your details can be updated on our register. This can be done by emailing enviro@portstephens.nsw.gov.au or telephoning (02) 4980 0255.

If you're having an event and the event is being held on Council owned or managed land, approval must be sought from Councils Events Team. Approval for the provision of food is also required and is assessed as part of the entire event application. A temporary food stall application will be required as part of the event application. Councils Events Team can be contacted on (02) 4980 6900 or by email at info@eventsportstephens.com.au

If you plan on having an event on land that is not owned or managed by Council, then you must contact Council's Planning team to ensure that the event and location is permissible. This can be done by calling (02) 4980 0255 and asking to speak with the Duty Planner who will guide you through the process.

The first step would be to contact Council's duty planning team to determine whether the business would be permissible at your property. The planner will then advise you of the process if it is permissible. Call the Duty Planner on (02) 4980 0255.

As a general guide, the correct temperatures for potentially hazardous food are as follows;

  1. 5°C or below for cold food,
  2. 60°C or above for hot food.

More detailed information can be found on the Department of Primary Industries website.

Starting a new food business

Potential operators of a new or existing food business must ensure that they have an understanding of the relevant health, safety, planning and environmental issues associated with the business. It is important that you make contact with the relevant departments within the Council.

Operating a food business

There are a number of publications and websites that can assist you in the operation of your food business.

Mobile food

Mobile food vehicles and street vending has become common practice in today's experience of commercial and tourist destinations, often filling a need in the market that is otherwise not met by existing retail and service offerings.

  • View our Mobile Food Vending Vehicle Policy on our Policies page.
  • To complete an Food vending vehicle (mobile) application form visit our A-Z forms page.

Contact Details
Events Team
Phone: (02) 4980 6900
Email: info@portstephens.nsw.gov.au

Temporary events

A temporary event is any occasion which is not permanent and where food is sold to consumers. Examples include fairs, festivals, markets and shows. Please review the guidelines below as it covers all types of food businesses at temporary events. They are comprehensive and the checklist provided within the document can be used to double check compliance with council requirements.


Contact Details
Events Team
Phone: (02) 4980 6900
Email: info@portstephens.nsw.gov.au

Footway dining

There's nothing better than giving your customers the freedom to sit outside in the fresh air and enjoy the food and drink your restaurant or café has to offer. Tables and chairs where patrons are encouraged to sit outside on the footpath are classed as Footway Dining. If you have an existing food business and you want to offer dining on the footpath outside the premises, you will require a licence from Council.

Because the footpath is Council land, there is a cost to lease this space out the front of your shop. This income goes back into the maintenance of Civil Assets in the community. Council leases this land to legalise the Footway Dining in Port Stephens Area, so as to ensure that items are set up safely, and maintained well. In doing this, and with the help of Council Rangers who will conduct random inspections, Council aims to help businesses keep their patrons and business safe.

The 2016/2017 yearly fee for Footway Dining is dependent on the area (in metres squared) the tables and chairs take up on the footpath, and are assessed on individual basis. View the Fees and Charges under the category 'Environmental Health Services'.

Once your application is approved by our Civil Assets Engineer, a licence plate will be issued and this is what rangers will look for when conducting their inspections, so place it in your front window.

How to apply?

Contact Details
Civil Assets
Phone: (02) 4980 0272
Email: council@portstephens.nsw.gov.au