Operating a food business in Port Stephens

Our Council plays an important role in maintaining food safety in Port Stephens by:

  • conducting food safety inspections of local food businesses to ensure compliance with relevant food safety legislation
  • food safety education initiatives
  • investigating of food-related complaints.

Starting a new food business

If you're thinking about starting a food business, you'll need to make sure you understand all of the relevant health, safety, planning and environmental laws. It's a good idea to speak to our team on 02 4988 0255 to make sure you're on the right track.

If you're taking over an existing food business and won't be making any structural changes, please submit the Business Registration form

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.

If you plan to start or sell a food business in Port Stephens, or if your business details have changed, it’s important to let Council know. Simply email compliance@portstephens.nsw.gov.au or complete the Business Registration form

For more information visit Food Authority NSW.

Operating a food business

There are many publications and websites to help you operate your food business safely:

Frequently asked questions

Yes. You'll need to get permission from the event organiser, who will also notify our Council.

If you're holding an event on Council owned or managed land, you must get approval from our Events team. A temporary food stall application will be required as part of the event application. Contact the Events team on 02 4988 0255 or events@portstephens.nsw.gov.au.

If you're planning to hold an event on land not owned or managed by our Council, you must still contact our Planning team to make sure the event and location is permissible. Please call 02 4988 0255 and ask to speak with the Duty Planner, who will guide you through the process.

It is important to notify our Environmental Health team of any changes to your business so that your details can be updated on our register. Simply email compliance@portstephens.nsw.gov.au or phone 02 4988 0255.

As a general guide, the correct temperatures for potentially hazardous food are:

  • 5°C or below for cold food
  • 60°C or above for hot food.

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

Outdoor dining

Offering outdoor or footway dining is great way to expand your business and bring life to our streets. It's important to get approval to place chairs and tables on a Council owned road reserve to regulate the impact on pedestrians and road-users in order to keep the community safe.

If you want to place tables and chairs outside you business, complete a Footway dining application and attach supporting documentation. If approved, you will be issued with a licence plate to display on the shop front window. (This application excludes A-frame sandwich boards and clothing racks — for more information , please see the temporary footpath advertising page)

Casual street stalls

Casual street stalls are used by charity organisations and locals in the community to sell goods and services for the purpose of promoting and raising funds for a not for profit organisation.

If you want to apply for a Casual street stall, complete the application and attach supporting documentation.

The following pre-approved locations have been assessed by Council for Casual street stall approval:

Nelson Bay Area
  • Corner of Stockton St & Victoria Parade
  • In front of Post office
  • Stockton Street Stage Area
  • 97 Magnus Street (In front of Post Office)
Raymond Terrace Area
  • 36 William Street (Newcastle Permanent)
  • The grassed area outside of Centro