Department of Health

Changes to food business classifications and regulations

Changes to the Food Act 1984 take effect in July and August 2022

Changes have been made to the Food Act 1984 (the Act) by the Department of Health (the department) to the Victorian food premises classification system, the changes have been gazetted and published in the Government Gazette, and take effect on 1 July, 28 July and 2 August. The department has made these changes to better reflect the likelihood of a high-risk food activity causing an adverse reaction and its consequences to the community; that is, causing a food safety risk.

The changes have altered some classes of food premises and requirements, establishing five classes of food premises with the inclusion of a new class, 3A. The changes to the Act establish the framework for the five classes and their associated regulatory requirements. Note: there are no changes to class 1 premises either in classification or regulatory requirements.

By improving the food premises class system, food premises registration will be more equitable for industry; assigning the appropriate legislative requirements to manage the food safety risk posed by the activities at a food premises.

How are the classes of food premises defined?

All food premises in Victoria must comply with the Act and the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code). On applying for a registration under the Act, all food premises are allocated a class.

The classification of a premises is based on the highest risk food activity occurring within the premises and the risk posed to public health, except for class 1 and class 4 food premises.

  • Class 1 premises are where the food being handled or served is to vulnerable people within a hospital, aged care, childcare setting, or by home delivery services that provide meals to people who are unable to prepare meals for themselves, such as Meals-on-Wheels.
  • Class 2 are premises that handle potentially hazardous foods.
  • Class 3A are premises that are home-based businesses and accommodation getaway premises that undertake specific food handling activities.
  • Class 3 premises are predominately those that handle low-risk foods or pre-packaged potentially hazardous foods.
  • Class 4 premises are predominately handling pre-packaged, low-risk foods.

Reviewed 16 April 2023


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