Each business (and community group) operating in Victoria has been assessed using the Department of Health’s food business classification tool. This classification tool is available online.
There are four main classes of food business, based on the types of foods that are provided.
Class 1 food premises
These premises predominantly handle potentially hazardous food that is served to vulnerable groups, such as hospitals, childcare centres providing long day care, and aged care facilities such as nursing homes and hostels.
Class 2 food premises
Involve activities at which,
a) any unpackaged potentially hazardous food is handled or manufactured, or
b) low-risk food is manufactured, for which any allergen-free claim is made, other than,
- a class 1 food premises.
- a food premises at which the only handling of unpackaged potentially hazardous food is of a kind which makes the premises a class 3 food premises or a class 4 food premises.
- a home-based business that produces low-risk packaged or unpackaged foods for which an allergen-free claim is made.
Class 3A food premises
Involved activities at which one or more of the following food handling activities occurs:
- preparation and/or cooking of potentially hazardous foods which are served to guests for immediate consumption at an accommodation getaway premises.
- food is made using a hot-fill process resulting in a product such as chutney, relish, salsa, tomato sauce or any other similar food, that:
- is made at a home-based or temporary food premises, for example, a hired kitchen, and
- has been heat treated to a temperature of not less than 85 °C and then filled and sealed hot into its packaging, and
- is acidic (pH of less than 4.6), and
- has salt or sugar or any other preservative added.
Class 3 food premises
Activities involve the sale of foods not commonly associated with food poisoning. This includes the supply of handling of unpackaged low risk foods, or sale of pre-packaged potentially hazardous foods which simply need refrigeration to keep them safe. Premises that may fall into the Class 3 classification may include milk bars, convenience stores, fruit stalls selling cut fruit and wholesalers distributing pre-packaged foods.
Class 4 food premises
This applies to food handling activities which pose a low risk to public health. They include premises that only undertake the following:
- the sale of shelf stable pre-packaged confectionary at newsagents, pharmacies and video stores
- the sale of packaged alcohol by bottle shops
- sale of uncut fruit and vegetables at farmers markets or by greengrocers (whether retail or wholesale)
- offering of wine tastings
- the sale of packaged cakes (excluding cream cakes), bottled jams or honey at shops and stalls
- Simple sausage sizzles at stalls, where the sausages are cooked and served immediately. This means sausages, sauce, onions and bread. This DOES NOT include hamburgers and other high risk foods.
Please note that if you change the types of foods that you provide from your business or community group to a higher level risk activity then you must notify Council. Your business may then be reclassified. Associated legislative requirements such as a food safety program and food safety supervisor training may also be needed.