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Food business class types

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Biscuits in jars at cafe

Most businesses operating in Victoria cannot sell food to the public unless they register as a food business with their local council.

When registering a food business, the city is required to classify every food premises according to their food using the Department of Health's food business classification schedule.

Food premises that meet the requirements of Class 1, 2 or 3 businesses must be registered with the city and that registration transferred when a business is sold. Food premises that are Class 4 must notify the city prior to commencing trade.

Classifications

Class 1: care centres (very high risk)

Class 1 food premises are those that predominantly handle potentially hazardous food that is served to vulnerable groups.

This includes businesses such as hospitals, childcare centres and aged care facilities such as nursing homes and hostels.

Class 2: restaurants, cafes, fast food, delis (high risk)

Food premises are those whose main activity is handling unpackaged potentially hazardous foods.

This includes businesses such as restaurants, fast food outlets, pubs, caterers, delicatessens, supermarkets with delicatessens, cafes and most manufacturers. 

Please note that Community Groups are subject to a different food handling classification. Please refer to: Information for community groups selling food.

Class 3: food shops, wholesalers (medium high risk)

Food premises are those whose main activities involve the sale of low risk foods, or sale of low risk pre-packaged potentially hazardous foods.

This includes businesses such as milk bars, convenience stores, fruit stalls selling cut fruit and wholesalers distributing pre-packaged foods. For more information go to: Class 3 food business

Please note that Community Groups are subject to a different food handling classification. Please refer to: Information for community groups selling food.

Class 4:  bottle shops, whole fruit stalls etc. (low risk)

Food premises are those whose food handling activities pose low risk to public health. They include premises that only undertake:

  • The sale of shelf stable pre-packaged low risk food and confectionery at newsagents, pharmacies and video stores
  • Bottle shops
  • Wine tastings
  • Shops and stalls with packaged cakes (excluding cakes containing eggs, cream or honey)

For a full list of class 4 activities go to: Class 4 food business

To protect public health, all food businesses must comply with the Food Act 1984.

Contact us

For more information about environmental health please contact our office on 03 5434 6000 or [email protected]


More information

Department of Health website: food businesses


Looking for more business support?

Contact our Business Help Desk for a one on one meeting on 03 5434 6000 or email [email protected]

We welcome your feedback.

Did you know you can log requests online?

This includes several bin requests such as missed bins, footpath maintenance, tree inspections and general requests. Visit our make a request page.


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