A common type of home-based business is a home-based food business. If you're cooking food for sale at your home, you must follow the same rules that apply to commercial food premises.
Preparing or storing food at home for sale is considered a food business and requires approval from Council.
Examples of home-based food businesses include:
- Baking sweets, cakes, or bread at home in a domestic kitchen for sale at markets or school canteens
- Home-based catering businesses
- Bed and breakfast accommodation
- Preparing food for sale to online customers.
Like any other home-based business, you must get development approval before you can start operating a home-based food business.
Depending on what you're proposing, this can be done through either a Development Application (DA) or a Complying Development Certificate (CDC). If you need development advice please phone Council’s Duty Planner on (02) 4227 7111 between 9am to 5pm on work days.
Council assesses applications for food businesses based on risk. Our Town Planners and Environmental Health Officers will only approve low risk home-based food businesses.
If you intend to produce high-risk foods or use commercial appliances you must operate out of a commercial kitchen. High risk foods include sushi, raw eggs, smoking meats, sous vide, or large scale operations that produce more than 10kg of food per week.
Like all food business, those based in home environments must comply with the relevant parts of the Food Act 2003, Food Regulations 2015 and the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code including:
- Standard 3.2.2 Food Safety Practices and General Requirements
- Standard 3.2.3 - Food Premises and Equipment; and
- Part 1.2 - Labelling and other information requirements.
The construction and fit out of the premises must comply with the Food Standards Code and the relevant requirements of AS-4674/2004: Design, Construction and Fit-Out of Food Premises.
For a home-based food business to be approved, it needs to be of a suitable nature and scale. Commercial cooking equipment such as deep fryers and commercial mechanical exhaust systems are not appropriate in residential areas.
Your premises should be designed and fitted out to handle food safely and avoid contamination. There are several things to consider when setting up a home-based food business. At all times you must make sure:
- All fixtures, fittings and equipment are in good repair and working order, are easily cleaned and free of cracks, gaps, crevices, or exposed joints.
- Floors, walls, ceiling and benches are finished in a smooth, impervious surface that is capable of being easily and effectively cleaned.
- There is a high standard of cleanliness. A food grade sanitiser must be available on-site at all times to effectively sanitise all utensils, equipment and food contact surfaces. If possible, remove decorative items (eg blinds, curtains, decorations, plants etc) within the food handling space.
- Adequate facilities are provided for storage and refrigeration of food and other related items.
- Potentially hazardous food on-site must be kept under temperature control and you must provide a digital thermometer accurate to +/-1⁰C.
- There are adequate washing facilities on-site in accessible and convenient locations within food handling areas and in, or next to, toilet facilities. Soap and paper towels must be provided next to hand washing facilities. As a minimum, you must have a double-bowl sink with one sink dedicated to hand washing, and a dishwasher.
- Food handling areas are protected from contamination and there is no risk of contamination from household members, visitors and or pets.
If your application is approved, you will need to register your home-based food business with Council.
If you on-sell (wholesale) to other food businesses, you will need to register with the NSW Food Authority before opening and operating your business.
Council’s Environmental Health Officers conduct random inspections of food premises across the Wollongong Local Government Area.
These inspections will check that good food safety practices are in place and food handlers have appropriate skills and knowledge in food safety.
Fees apply for inspections as shown below.
Food business inspection fees
|Parent HierachyArea||Fee NameFee Name||GSTGST||Current Fee (incl. GST)Current Fee (incl. GST)|
|Parent HierachyPublic Health & Safety | Food Premises Inspection And Classification||Fee NameImprovement Notices Sect 66AA(1) Food Act 2008||GSTN||Current Fee$330.00|
|Parent HierachyPublic Health & Safety | Food Premises Inspection And Classification||Fee NameAdministration Charge Medium & High Risk - 0 to 5 handlers||GSTN||Current Fee$286.00|
|Parent HierachyPublic Health & Safety | Food Premises Inspection And Classification||Fee NameAdministration Charge Medium & High Risk - 6 to 50 Handlers||GSTN||Current Fee$443.00|
|Parent HierachyPublic Health & Safety | Food Premises Inspection And Classification||Fee NameAdministration Charge - Low Risk||GSTN||Current Fee$87.50|
|Parent HierachyPublic Health & Safety | Food Premises Inspection And Classification||Fee NameInspection fee Medium and High Risk||GSTN||Current Fee$173.00|
|Parent HierachyPublic Health & Safety | Food Premises Inspection And Classification||Fee NameInspection fee Low Risk||GSTN||Current Fee$64.00|
|Parent HierachyPublic Health & Safety | Food Premises Inspection And Classification||Fee NameFood Premises Re Inspection fee||GSTN||Current Fee$106.00|
|Parent HierachyPublic Health & Safety | Food Premises Inspection And Classification||Fee NameCharitable/ Non Profit Organisations - per annum||GSTN||Current Fee$64.00|
|Parent HierachyPublic Health & Safety | Food Premises Inspection And Classification||Fee NameMarkets/Temporary Events - per annum fee||GSTN||Current Fee$64.00|
- A home-based food business must not create environmental nuisances or affect the amenity of adjoining properties or neighbours (eg noise, odour, smoke, fumes, waste, dust etc).
- If your home-based food business is located in an unsewered area, you must have an approved licenced On-Site Sewage Management System (OSSM). See Council’s OSSM page for more information.
- Sydney Water will not allow a grease trap connection from a residential property. This limits the types of food a home-based food business can produce. Foods that generate grease are not permitted. Please contact Sydney Water on 13 20 92 for more information.
- No smoking is allowed in the food preparation, handling or storage areas.
- See our Food Businesses page for general information about running any business that handles food.
- Visit the NSW Food Authority Home-based food business website or phone the helpline on 1300 552 406
- The Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) website has factsheets and advice on how to meet food safety requirements when operating a food business from home
- Wollongong City Council’s Design and Fit-Out Guide for Food Businesses PDF, 1247.28 KB
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