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Update on COVID-19- The safety of our communities, customers and staff is our top priority. We are continuing to monitor daily developments in response to COVID-19. Find out the latest.

Start and operate a food business

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 Food Business Registration form from our A-Z forms page.

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 enviro@portstephens.nsw.gov.au or complete the Food Business Registration form from our A-Z forms page.


Operating a food business

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

Food for Port newsletter

Our Environmental Health team address some of the common questions they have been asked recently. Plus a quiz where you can learn some valuable information to help keep your food safe.

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 0900 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 emai enviro@portstephens.nsw.gov.au or phone 02 4988 0255.

Possibly. The first step is to contact our Duty Planning officer on 02 4988 0255 to determine if the business is permissible at your property. The planner will then advise you of the process.

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 a great way to expand your business and bring life to our streets. It's important to get approval first before conducting footway dining.


Mobile food business

Mobile food vehicles and street vending has become more common in Port Stephens. If you're thinking about starting a mobile food business, you'll first need to get permission from our Council.

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

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.

Food businesses at temporary events will need to get permission from the event organiser, who will also notify our Council.

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.