Catering and mobile food premises and food safety

This information has been prepared to assist caterers and mobile food premises understand, interpret and implement the food safety legislation.

Food Safety Standard 3.2.2 Food Safety Practices and General Requirements and Standard 3.2.3 Food Premises and Equipment are legal requirements for food businesses in South Australia under the Food Act 2001. These standards are available at the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website.

Food regulatory authorities across Australia are working together to develop nationally-consistent food safety management arrangements in Australia to improve food safety outcomes for food service and closely related retail sectors (including caterers).  National consultation on the proposed outcomes of this work commenced in 2016-17.

Food business notification

The food legislation requires food businesses to complete a notification process to their local councils. Caterers and mobile food businesses should notify the council area where their base of operation is.

For mobile food businesses, this is generally the area where the vehicle is garaged or housed. However, if the mobile food business operates permanently from one site, for example an after-hours fast food van, the Council area where the vehicle operates should be notified even if the vehicle is housed in another Council area.

Food business inspection

Caterers and mobile food businesses are subject to inspection by local councils. Information on inspections can be found on the Food safety inspections page.

A council in which a mobile food business is operating may also inspect a mobile food premise, regardless of which Council the business has notified in.

Food labelling

Food sold by your business may require labelling. Information on labelling can be found on the Food composition and labelling page

Further clarification is also available in the Labelling of Foods in Mobile Food Vans fact sheet (PDF 340KB).

Food Safety Passport System

The Food Safety Passport System has been developed to benefit businesses and Local Government, and aims to help mobile food vendors (MFVs) comply with food safety requirements. The Passport System is a folder containing:

  • the Guideline (PDF 1160KB) information about legal requirements and compliance with the relevant sections of the Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code Food Safety Standards (FSS)
  • certificate allows Local Government Environmental Health Officers to quickly assess if a MFV is compliant with the FSS.

The Passport System is a voluntary system being trialled for 12 months. 

To request a Passport, please contact the Local Council where your vehicle is garaged or housed.

Further information

For further information on caterers and mobile food premises, contact SA Health's Food and Controlled Drugs branch.

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