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

Council Environmental Health Officers conduct regular inspections of markets, events and other operating Mobile food vehicles and temporary food stalls to ensure compliance with the Food Act 2003 and Chapter 3 of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Food Standards Code.

If you are looking to operate a mobile food vehicle or temporary food stall, you need to obtain approval from Council prior to operating.

Lodge your application online via the NSW Planning Portal

  1. Follow the application instructions to prepare and submit your application through the NSW Planning Portal.

    To search for the relevant council fees and charges, please go to our Fees & Charges page.

  2. Lodge your application via the NSW Planning Portal

    If you would like further guidance, please contact the Environmental Services team on 1300 293 111
    Lodge online via the NSW Planning Portal

Next steps: Once your application is processed, an invoice will be uploaded to the NSW Planning Portal. Once you have completed the invoice, your application will be forwarded to the Officer for assessment. The Officer will contact you if further information or a prior inspection is required. Their determination will then be uploaded to the NSW Planning Portal.

Food stalls at events and markets

The event organiser must ensure that the below information is submitted to the Environmental Services Team at least ten (10) working days prior to the event to enable sufficient time for assessment and administrative processing.

The event organiser must ensure that all mobile food or temporary food operators have obtained a Section 68 approval under the Local Government Act (1993) to operate in the Shoalhaven City Council Local Government Area.

To assist organisers with this, a blanket application where all food operators are captured under the one (1) Section 68 approval can be submitted. Refer to the example excel spreadsheet (below) outlining the required information to be included as an attachment in the submission:

Lodge your submission through the NSW Planning Portal

Lodge online via NSW Planning Portal

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