Food business

If you operate a food business, you may need a food business licence from Moreton Bay Regional Council.

Who needs a licence?

If you handle or prepare unpackaged food, you generally will require a licence. Examples of unpackaged foods that require a licence are:

  • fruit or vegetable juice that is processed at place of sale
  • cakes, muffins or biscuits with fresh cream or custard in the filling or icing
  • takeaway food such as hot chips and hamburgers
  • making food by combining ingredients such as jams, sauces, curries or soup
  • bread and bread rolls
  • sandwiches, including toasting sandwiches at a cafe
  • bulk coffee that is repackaged into smaller containers
  • Taste testing of cut fresh fruit, chips, salsa, cheese and similar items
  • any other unpackaged food that is not exempt.

For further information regarding licensable food businesses, including licensing exemptions, visit LG Toolbox.

Food Safety Supervisors

All licensable food businesses must have a Food Safety Supervisor to oversee food handling and safety. The Food Safety Supervisor needs to be reasonably available while food is being handled. This means they must be either on-site or able to be contacted by Council or food business employees.

Food Safety Supervisor needs to have skills and knowledge about food safety and hygiene and be able to identify, prevent and correct food safety hazards. They also need to be able to supervise other staff and give directions about food safety issues.

You need to be able to demonstrate that your Food Safety Supervisor has the necessary skills and knowledge to oversee food handling and safety.

Refer to the LG Toolbox for more information about food safety supervisors.

Food Safety Programs

A food safety program is a document that identifies and controls food safety hazards in a food business. Certain licensable food businesses must have a Food Safety Program accredited by their local government. Licensable food businesses are required to have an accredited food safety program if:

  • the food business involves offsite catering
  • the primary activity of the food business is onsite catering
  • the food business is carried on as part of the operations of a private hospital
  • the food business processes or serves potentially hazardous food to six or more vulnerable persons, e.g. child care centre, aged care or palliative care facility.

If you require a Food Safety Program, you will need to submit it to Council for accreditation, along with written advice from a Food Safety Auditor confirming that the Program complies with section 98 of the Food Act 2006 and implementation of the program is reasonably likely to effectively control the food safety hazards of the food business.

A Food Safety Program may be submitted for accreditation online via MBRC Online Services. You will be required to register an account in order to lodge an application.

Food businesses which have an accredited Food Safety Program may need to apply for an amendment of the program, online via MBRC Online Services, if food handling processes change.

How do I apply for a licence?

You can apply for a licence online via MBRC Online Services. You will be required to register an account in order to lodge an application.

Tips on lodging an application

The applicant must be an individual, company or incorporated association. Council does not accept applications from trusts or partnerships.

If there is insufficient space to record the following, please attach as a separate document:

  • Names of directors/or members of management committee
  • Skills and knowledge regarding the sale of safe and suitable food
  • If your business is required to hold an accredited Food Safety Program, you will be prompted to attach the document during the application process.

Supporting Information

The following supporting documentation will be required to be attached to the application:

  • Copy of Certificate of Attainment for Food Safety Supervisors
  • Site plan, showing the location of the food premises, waste storage, car parking, staff and public toilet facilities and adjacent land uses
  • Floor plan with dimensions showing, but not limited to, the following -
  • Location of all equipment, fixtures and fittings
  • Hand wash basins
  • Food preparation sink
  • Double bowl sink
  • Cleaners sink
  • Hot water system
  • Dry food storage areas
  • Refrigeration and freezer units
  • Mechanical ventilation above cooking appliances
  • Office area for administration work
  • Storage area for cleaning products
  • Storage area for staff personal items
  • Internal refuse storage
  • Toilets
  • Sectional elevations with dimensions indicating windows, doorways, items identified on the site plan and details of plinths, castors or legs of all benches
  • Hydraulic plan showing location of water and sewerage pipes, tundishes, sinks and grease trap
  • Specifications of materials and finishes (including colours where appropriate) for ceilings, walls, floors, coving, stores, lighting, shelving, cupboards, benches, screens, air curtains and insect control devices.

Food business home delivery

If you have a current Fixed Food Business Licence (i.e. restaurant or cafe), you can provide takeaway and/or delivery options without any changes to your licence. However, it is important that you manage this provision carefully to protect yourself and others.

Safe food delivery

When delivering food, you must make sure that it is transported at the right temperature to keep it safe. Hot food should be kept above 60°C and cold food below 5°C. Food within this range needs to be heated or chilled quickly to avoid bacterial growth.

Gauge showing the food temperature danger zone between 60 and 5 degrees.

  • If you are planning on doing a large number of deliveries that will take time, please use thermal delivery containers to keep the food at safe temperatures.
  • If food is to be transported for delivery it must be protected from contamination and kept under appropriate temperature control.
  • Always use food grade containers, including tubs, eskies or hot boxes to protect the food from contamination.
  • Keep hot food hot and cold food cold by using insulated bags or eskies.
  • Raw foods, such as uncooked meat, should be transported in separate containers from ready-to-eat foods, such as salads and bread.

Food safety training

All food businesses have obligations under the Food Act 2006 with regard to their premises and food handling practices. Council is assisting food businesses by providing access to food safety training for employees. This training is not suitable for a food safety supervisor who must complete the relevant competencies with a registered training organisation - refer to LG Toolbox for more information about food safety supervisors.

The training is easy to follow and includes an entertaining presentation as well as interactive quizzes. A training acknowledgement form can be obtained upon completion and kept as part of your staff records. 

Food handlers, other than food safety supervisors, can access the online training below. 

Access Food safety training