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Start & Operate a Food Business

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.

Environmental Health and Compliance
Phone: 02 4988 0255
Email: council@portstephens.nsw.gov.au

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) 4988 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) 4988 0900 or email events@portstephens.nsw.gov.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) 4988 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) 4988 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.

Food for Port Newsletter

In this newsletter Council’s Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) will address some of the common questions that our EHOs have been asked over the past financial year.

  • Food for Port 2017 edition (PDF 446KB) - In this edition we discuss thermometres, are you using the right times, maintaining and cleaning them? Things to consider when buying and using chemical sanitisers. Tips for cooking in bulk.

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) 4988 6900
Email: enviro@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) 4988 6900
Email: events@portstephens.nsw.gov.au

Footway dining

On 1st January 2018 Council joined the NSW Outdoor Dining Trial, a NSW Government initiative of the Easy to do Business program, which will conclude on 30th June 2018.

Footway Dining is a great way to promote local businesses and cafes and provides patrons the opportunity to sit outside and indulge in local cuisines whilst enjoying the beautiful scenery Port Stephens has to offer.

Did you know approval must be obtained from Council to place chairs and tables on the footpath as this is Council land? (This application excludes A-frame sandwich boards and clothing racks, please see - Temporary footpath advertising).

If you have an existing food business and you want to place chairs and tables outside the premises, during the Trial period you will need to complete and submit the Outdoor Dining application, following the trial process. Details on the trial, how to apply and where to gain support and advice can be found at the Outdoor Dining Trial page. Applications are submitted to Service NSW for assessment, with final approval granted and permit issued by Council.

Resources & how to apply:

Contact Details

Service NSW Business Concierge
Phone: 13 77 88
Website: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-use-public-land-outdoor-dining

Port Stephens Council - Footway Dining Trial
Phone: (02) 4988 0322
Email: footway.dining@portstephens.nsw.gov.au