New Food Business

Purchasing an existing food business

Upgrading or renovations of an existing food business may require a development application. Any upgrading or renovations should be carried out in consultation with our Environmental Health Officers. You will need to get a copy of the annual food inspection report from the current owner.

We provide a charged pre-purchase inspection service designed to help prospective buyers become aware of possible non-compliance issues prior to purchasing a food business.

The service includes:

  • A comprehensive inspection by our certified Environmental Health Officers
  • A detailed report highlighting non-compliance issues relevant to potential buyers
  • Consultation (upon request) to provide buyers with the knowledge on relevant legislation.

Pre-purchase inspection application form (PDF)

If you are purchasing an existing food business, you are required to notify us by completing the Food Business Notification form (PDF).

For more information, please contact us.

Opening a new food business

If you want to build or fit out a new food business contact us for advice before you start any work.

Do I need approval?

If you want to open a new food business, you must submit a development application or an application for a complying development certificate before you start any work.

City of Newcastle (CN) provides a free development and building advisory service by our Duty Officer, either over the phone or in person at our City Administration Centre.

Appointments with our Duty Officer are available in 20-minute allotments to assist you with general advice about preparing a development application.

Call 4974 2000 to book your appointment.

Further information

Australian standards

The construction of the building must comply with Australian Standard AS4674-2004 design, construction and fitout of food premises. This standard can be purchased from Standards Australia or phone 1800 035 822.

The internal construction and fitout must comply with Food Safety Standards 3.2.3. This standard can be viewed and downloaded free of charge from Food Standards.

Construction guide

Food business notification

You are required to notify us by completing the Food Business Notification form (PDF).

Home Manufacture

Home manufacture involves the handling of low risk food for sale at residential premises using an existing domestic kitchen or a purpose built kitchen within the residential premises.

Before you begin home manufacturing you need to check whether this activity is permitted in your area based on the zoning of your land. Please contact our Development Duty Officer on 02 4974 2000 for information regarding home occupations/business, zoning and appropriate land use in your area.

What food standards will I need to comply with?

If you are intending on manufacturing food for sale, you will be considered to be a food business under the NSW Food Act 2003 (Food Act). All food businesses must comply with the Food Act and the requirements of that act which include the Food Standards Code, in particular the Food Safety Standards 3.2.2 and 3.2.3.

What are the minimum requirements?

Domestic kitchens may be suitable for the production of low risk foods. Each business will be assessed based on the type of food they are producing and associated risks to determine if their home kitchen is suitable. For example, you will need to demonstrate adequate cleaning and sanitising procedures such as a double bowl sink, hand soap and single use towel, a dishwasher and or chemical sanitiser, benches and floors that can be easily cleaned, safe food storage such as adequate refrigeration, effective pest control, adequate waste disposal and impeccable food handler hygiene. Find out more: NSW Food Authority website.

If my home kitchen isn’t suitable, where else could I do my manufacturing?

Food Services recommend hiring or leasing an approved commercial kitchen that is inspected annually by us if producing high risk foods such as sandwiches with meat, egg or dairy based fillings, curries and casseroles, baby foods, pates or any food products licensed by the NSW Food Authority. Contact your local sporting club, school canteen, and community hall or bowling club to see if they hire out their kitchen.

Do I need to notify anyone about my home manufacturing?

You are required to notify us by completing the Food Business Notification form (PDF).

Will I be inspected and are there any fees?

Your business will be categorised on risk and all businesses handling open food will be inspected annually. An annual administration fee will be charged and inspection fees issued on a half an hour rate. To view the current annual fee and other inspection charges see our Fees and Charges (PDF).

Are there specific guidelines to assist me?

Additional guidance for home-based food businesses on complying with Chapter 3 of the Food Standards Code can be found in Appendix 10 (PDF) of the Guide to the Food Safety Standards (PDF).