Food & Drink


All Shoalhaven business premises that serve food to the public need to comply with Council’s regulations, as well as know about our onsite inspections.

These regulations apply to, and include, food stalls and mobile food vending. 

Food premises notification

It is a requirement under the Food Act 2003 for a food business* to notify Council before commencing trade.

A food business* includes the following:

  • A food premises that is new
  • An existing food premises where there is a change of owner, business details or food premises type

To notify a new food premises with Council, download, complete and lodge:

It is a requirement to set up your food premises to regulation and Council policy.

Food premises inspections

Shoalhaven City Council inspects all premises where food is prepared for sale to the public to ensure compliance with the Food Act 2003 and all other relevant legislation.

Council has been part of the NSW Food Regulation Partnership and Council’s role in this partnership involves performing food premises inspections functions including:

  • Routine inspections of food premises
  • Investigation of complaints about food premises
  • Enforcement action upon retail food premises (where necessary)
  • Emergency response action in relation to food recalls (when required)

All inspections conducted by Council are unannounced and focus on specific critical food handling practices including:

  • Temperature control
  • Personal hygiene (hand washing)
  • Food processing, cleanliness
  • Food storage practices
  • Pest control


Food premises inspection frequency (risk categories)

Risk Category Inspections per year
Level 0 (Low Risk - Incident only) No inspection unless complaint received
Level 1 (Medium Risk) One inspection per year
Level 2 (High Risk) Two inspections per year
Level 3 (High Risk) Three inspections per year


Factors considered to determine a food premises risk category include:

  • Type of food premises
  • Size of the premises
  • History (performance) of the premises in relation to compliance with the Food Act 2003 and all other relevant legislation

Food premises inspection and administration fees

The inspection fee is the same for all food businesses irrespective of the risk category. Whereas administration fees are applied according to the risk category of the food premises.


Mobile food vehicles and temporary food stalls

From 1 January 2021, we require lodgement of all Development Applications (DAs) and Complying Development Certificates (CDCs) to be via the NSW Planning Portal. This change is in line with the NSW Government's plan for all Councils to participate in their ePlanning platform for application lodgement. View our list of applications that can now only be lodged via the NSW Planning Portal.

The presence of mobile food stalls, vehicles and temporary food premises at special events and markets throughout the Shoalhaven is rapidly growing and are a major contributor to their overall success.

If you are looking to set up a stall at an approved market or show you need Council approval.

How to set up a food stall at the local markets

Step 1

  • Talk to the event or market organiser about your business proposal and to obtain their approval beforehand

Step 2

  • Discuss your proposal with one of Council’s Environmental Health Officers

Step 3

Once the application has been processed, Council Environmental Health Officers will conduct regular inspections of markets and events to ensure compliance with the Policy in addition to relevant food safety regulations.


Category 2 - Mobile food vending vehicles on Council owned or managed land

If you are looking to set your mobile food vehicle on Council owned or managed land you will require a permit.

Council may grant approvals for mobile food vending vehicles on council owned or managed land for a period of up to 5 hours between 7am and 7pm.

Applications for a Category 2 - mobile food vending vehicles permit are accepted during May and are valid from 1 July - 30 June each year. An administrative fee and permit fee will apply.

Find out more:

How do I apply?

Step 1

Step 2

Fees & Charges