Kingston District Council, South East, South Australia

Home Based Business

Home Based Food Business

This guideline establishes standards for the handling, storage and preparation of food for sale from residential premises. 

Under the Food Act 2001, any person ‘selling’ food must comply with the requirements of the Act. Under this legislation you are considered to be selling food if you manufacture and/or sell food from your home. This includes for retail sale, not‐for‐profit community organisations, fundraising, market stalls and catering or providing food as part of a service.

Persons intending to establish such an operation should be aware that when food is manufactured and offered for sale, the premises used must comply with several standards including:

  • Ø  Food Act 2001;
  • Ø  Food Regulations 2002; and
  • Ø  Food Safety Standards 3.1.1, 3.2.2, and 3.2.3

All food businesses will be subject to regular routine inspections from Council’s Environmental Health Officer to ensure compliance with the Food Act and Food Safety Standards. These inspections are conducted between 9 am- 5pm.

This document is intended to be used as a guide only, conditions may change based on individual circumstances; to clarify further, contact the Council’s Environmental Health Officer to discuss  and/or to arrange an appointment.


Do I need to notify council?

The Food Act 2001, requires that all businesses undertaking food handling activities or selling food are required to notify their Local Council (the enforcement agency) of their food business details on the approved food business notification form.   

Businesses are required to notify of their operations before they start operating their food business and should notify council within 14 days of any changes in ownership or contact information, and when the business ceases to operate. Operating a food business without notifying Council, and or with sub-standard or non-compliant premises is an offence and penalties may apply.


What are the requirements for my home based food business?

All manufactured and stored food which is intended for sale must comply with the requirements of the Food Act and Food Regulations, and the National Food Authority Food Standards Code. Home based businesses are subject to the same legislation as commercial food businesses; however, based on practicality, risk and frequency of the business handling food exemptions may be granted in regards to some requirements, at the discretion of the assessing officer.  The below information is provided as a guide only.

Food Premises and Equipment

It is important to ensure that domestic premises, fixtures, fittings, equipment and transport vehicles are designed and constructed so that they can be easily and effectively cleaned and, where necessary, sanitised. The premises must also exclude the entry of animals, pests, dirt and other contaminates. Home based food businesses must also ensure that the premises is provided with the necessary services of water, waste disposal, light and ventilation.

Hand Washing Facilities

Most domestic kitchens that are well maintained would comply with the Standards except for the requirement to have dedicated permanent hand washing facilities. A kitchen that has a double bowl sink may comply if one bowl is used exclusively for hand washing when food is being prepared for sale. A single bowl sink that is also used for food preparation would not meet this requirement however, Council may issue an exemption that will conditionally allow the use of alternative hand washing arrangements (e.g. hand‐washing facilities in nearby bathroom) if they consider the facilities to be adequate. A risk assessment of the premises and the food being prepared would need to be undertaken. It important to ensure that soap and paper towel are provided adjacent to the hand washing facility during food preparation at all times.

Product Labelling

Manufactured food may need to comply with product labelling r equirements, including nutrition information panels. The Guide to the Labelling can be downloaded from‐labelling.htm .

  A Nutrition Information Panel (NIP) online calculator is available at: . For more information in regards to product labelling contact the Food Section of SA Department of Health on 8226 7100.


Recall Procedures and Record Keeping

Food Safety Standard 3.2.2 requires that businesses involved in the manufacturing or wholesale supply of food need to have a recall procedure in place. This involves having a written system in place to ensure the recall of unsafe food which needs to be made available upon request to an authorised officer. For information on designing a food recall plan visit the Department of Health Website

Manufacturers need to keep records of:

  • Ø ingredients’ batches used to enable traceability for example, if an ingredient is recalled by  another producer;
  • Ø your own product batches and where they have been distributed to, in case you are required to announce a food recall.

Temperature Control

Temperature control is important for ensuring the safety and suitability of foods. Potentially hazardous food is required to be kept under temperature control.  Ensure that you obtain a probe thermometer than can accurately measure the internal temperature of food to +/‐1ºC.

Food Storage  

Food used for the business and the proprietors domestic use should be kept separate. Food and equipment for business use should be kept in large plastic sealable containers, or on separate shelving, it should also be labelled to keep it separate from food and equipment for domestic use.

Some food containers are not intended for re‐use and can actually cause cross contamination to food e.g. cardboard and polystyrene boxes. Food containers and other materials should only be used if they are food grade and are intended for multiple uses, according to their manufacturer. Single use items are acceptable for product packaging.

Health and Hygiene Requirements

  • Ø Ensure that food handlers who are ill do not prepare or handle food for sale. Other people living at or visiting the premise who are ill can also leave their germs in bathrooms, laundries and other common areas. It is important to prevent their access, as well as, the access of pets to any food preparation and storage areas, as they can spread bacteria onto food and food contact surfaces
  • Ø  No person shall smoke in the food preparation or storage area.
  • Ø Garden fertilisers, household insecticides, chemicals and medications must not be kept in    the food preparation or storage area.   
  • Ø The premises must be at a standard of cleanliness where there is no build up or accumulation of dirt, grime or debris. All food contact surfaces and equipment must be sanitised with a food grade chemical sanitiser to destroy any dangerous bacteria that might remain after cleaning.


Food Handling Skills and Knowledge

All food handlers must have food safety skills and knowledge appropriate to their activities. Food handlers have specific obligations that apply to them as individuals which they must be aware of. During inspections EHOs may ask the food handler questions in order to ascertain their level of knowledge.


Other Considerations:

Other various requirements may need to be considered before operating your food business

  • Ø  In regards to their requirements for trade waste and whether you will need a grease arrestor;
  • Ø  Contact Council’s Planning Officer to ensure your intended domestic business is compliant with the Development Act 1993.


Further Information

SA Department of Health- Food Branch: phone 8226 7107

Food Safety Australia New Zealand:

Kingston District Council

Phone: 87 67 2033
Fax: 87 67 2937


What do I need to do to start my home based food business?

1.       Complete and submit the application document

This will be assessed by Environmental Health Officer, who will contact you to discuss and organise a preliminary premises inspection.

2.       Preliminary premises inspection

An initial preliminary inspection by the officer should be conducted before operation of your food business, in order to assess your premises and provide any extra information or exemptions that may be applicable to your particular business.

3.       Food Business Notification

Before you start operation you will be required to fill out the food business notification form before you start operating. You will then be issued with a food business notification number.

4.       Scheduled for Routine Food Inspections

You will now be scheduled in for routine food inspections. Council’s Environmental Health Officer is authorised to inspect any premises manufacturing and selling food.

Home Based Food Business Application Form(88 kb)