Food safety and licensing

Chefs plating dishes in restaurant

Do I require a food licence?

The Bundaberg Region has an amazingly diverse range of fresh food products due to the local availability of agricultural and seafood industries which service the more than 550 licensed food businesses in the Bundaberg Region.

Unregulated food handling and storage is a potential risk to the public's health and safety and it is critical that these businesses are regulated and comply with all relevant food legislation.

Food businesses are required by law to be licensed by their relevant local government authority.

Under the Food Act 2006 a licence is required if you run a food business that:

  • involves the manufacture of food; or
  • involves the retail sale of unpackaged food (e.g. restaurant and takeaway shops) and is not a non-profit organisation; or
  • is carried on by a non-profit organisation and involves the sale of meals on at least 12 days each year.

Businesses that are not required to hold a food licence includes, but is not limited to those businesses that;

  • sell pre-packaged food only,
  • sell whole fruit and vegetables only,
  • are involved in the production of primary produce such as milk or meat at a butcher, with accreditation. It is recommended that such businesses contact Safe Food Production Queensland or refer to the Food Production (Safety) Act 2000 for more information.
  • sell drinks such as tea, coffee, soft drinks and alcohol. The sale of alcohol requires a liquor licence with the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation.
  • sell snack foods that are not potentially hazardous. Snack foods include;
    • biscuits and cakes, carob, chocolate bars, chocolates, churros, confectionary, corn chips and potato chips, crackers, croissants and doughnuts.
  • sell seeds, spices and dried herbs,
  • sell tea leaves,
  • sell coffee beans and ground coffee,
  • grind coffee beans,
  • sell ice and flavoured ice,
  • sell the following foods when they are not potentially hazardous;
    • cereals, cocoa, coconut, uncooked couscous, crushed, puffed or toasted nuts, grains and seeds, edible oil, for example, olive oil, vegetable oil and macadamia oil, flour, legumes, lentils, noodles, oats, uncooked pasta, preparations for spreading on bread, for example, honey, peanut butter, hazelnut spread, Vegemite, jam and marmalade, quinoa, sugar, syrups, for example, golden syrup, maple syrup, rice syrup, malt syrup, glucose syrup and coconut syrup.

You may not need a licence for the activities listed but you still need to comply with the Food Act 2006.

Non-profit Food Premises

Different rules apply to licensing of non-profit organisations.

Non-profit organisations need a licence when meals are served 12 or more times in a financial year. A meal is food that is meant to be eaten at a table with cutlery. Examples of a meal are:

  • casserole,
  • roast meat and vegetables,
  • curries and stir-fry,
  • salad.

Examples of food that is not a meal:

  • pie and sausage roll,
  • hot dog,
  • hamburger and hot chips,
  • sausage sizzle,
  • soup in a cup.

You may not need a licence for these activities but all non-profit organisations still need to comply with the Food Act 2006. You can find more information in Queensland Health's Food safety in non-profit organisations.

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