Department of Health and Human Services

Community groups

This information is for community groups that sell food. It explains 'food premises classification' under Victoria's Food Act 1984, and your role in keeping food safe.

Different registration / notification requirements apply depending on:

Are you planning a food fundraiser?

If you are planning a community group food fundraising event, there are several legal obligations you must meet under Victoria’s Food Act. While complying with the law is straightforward, to help you organise your event, the Department of Health & Human Services has developed a video and website which are informative and easy to use.

Community Groups Fundraising Events Food Safety Obligations - Food Safety Obligations

The resources on the website cover essential information an event organiser needs to know. This includes the classification of your food premises; your obligations under the Food Act; how to register or notify council about your event, and where you can get more help and advice if required.

If you are organizing a food fundraiser, the link will take you to more information on many topics of interest. You can even link to a food safety quiz which is an ideal training tool for volunteers preparing food.

website: Community Groups Fundraising Events Food Safety Obligations - Food Safety Obligations

Temporary & mobile food fundraisers - single approval to operate in Victoria

If you plan to sell food at stalls or vans, from 1 July 2011 you may no longer need to separately register with, or notify, each council in which your food fundraising activities take place.

Depending on your food handling activities, you can register with, or notify one council. Under the new system, this is your “principal council”.

This is the council in whose district your community group:

The state-wide registration and notification scheme will make it easier for community groups that currently require multiple registrations to operate in different council districts.

For advice and assistance

A “start up” process is required to enable you to get the benefits of the state-wide system and to register with, or notify, the correct council.

Your principal council can advise you about what you need to do and the forms you need to complete, to obtain state-wide coverage for your fundraising activities.

The following flyer provides more information about the new scheme.

Food vans and stalls - Single approval to operate in Victoria, class2, 3 and 4, November 2011

Contact your local council health unit for advice and assistance.

Permanent premises

If your group plans to sell food from a permanent premises, such as a canteen or kiosk that the group operates regularly or owns or leases, you must register, or notify, with the council in which the premises is located.

These requirements are explained further below.

More on food fundraisers

Whether you are operating from a permanent premises, or a food van or trailer, in common with all organisations operating a food premises, voluntary associations, community groups and clubs that sell food to raise funds must ensure that the food they sell is safe to eat.

For advice on practical steps to ensure food safety, and to learn more about your responsibilities under the Food Act 1984, see the flyer ' Food fundraisers - October 2011'.

This flyer includes a table that will tell you whether your fundraising activity falls within class 2, 3 or 4 and which council to contact for permission to operate.

The information covers your group if you sell food solely for the purposes of raising funds for charity, or are a not-for-profit body.

The classification system under the Act takes into account the unique nature of some occasional activities conducted for the purposes of fundraising. This is to ensure that the regulation of such small scale activities is not excessive. The aim is for the level of regulation to be proportionate to the activity, whilst protecting public health.

Class 2

The 'Food fundraisers' flyer contains important information for community groups which prepare and sell ready-to-eat foods, such as sandwiches containing cheese, smallgoods, sliced vegetables or salad, or any other potentially hazardous foods.

Community group temporary and mobile food premises template class 2

This food safety program template has been developed for community groups who sell food at temporary or mobile food premises and have been advised by council the premises falls within class 2.

Temporary food premises are a stall, tent or other structure that is not permanently fixed to a site, like a stall at a fair, or fete. It may also be a permanent structure that is not owned or leased by the community group, and from which food is sold or handled for sale on an occasional basis only. A good example is a community group using a community hall for an event at which food is sold.

A mobile food premises is a vehicle, van, trailer or cart from which food is sold or handled for sale.

  Community group temporary and mobile food premises template - Class 2

Class 3

The booklet provides a comprehensive guide to food safety for class 3 food premises. It includes advice on the kinds of food handling activities your class 3 food premises may run, and the records you are required by law to keep.

  Food safety guide for community groups-Class 3, October 2011

Class 4 - Cake stalls

Useful information about keeping food safe at your cake stall.
  Food safety tips-Class 4 premises-Cake stalls, October 2011.

Advice about your responsibilities under the Food Act 1984 and where to get more help.
  Guide to food safety regulation for community groups - Cake stalls, October 2011.

Class 4 - Sausage sizzles

Useful information about keeping food safe at your sausage sizzles.
  Food safety tips-Class 4 premises-Sausage sizzles, October 2011.

Advice about your responsibilities under the Food Act 1984 and where to get more help.
  Guide to food safety regulation for community groups-Sausage sizzles, October 2011.

Free online food handler learning program

Dofoodsafely - free online learning program for food handlers.

Where can I get more help?