Proposed food premises approval requirements

This page outlines the operation and design approval requirements for all businesses that sell, or intend to sell, food for human consumption. The requirements applly to existing and new premises, domestic premises used for commercial purposes, and mobile food vehicles. Examples of these include:

  • restaurants
  • cafés
  • takeaway outlets
  • caterers
  • prepackaged food premises
  • mobile food vehicles
  • hotels
  • bars
  • food sampling
  • food businesses operating from home.

The Australian Food Standards Code 3.2.3 - Food Premises and Equipment and the Australian Standard 4674-2004Design, Construction and Fit-out of Food Premises apply to proposed and existing food premises. You are required to understand and comply with these Standards to design, construct and operate your food premises.


If you plan to build a new food premises or make changes to an existing food premises, you will need to prepare and lodge a Development Application (DA) for approval by Council.

Please provide all necessary information at the time you lodge your DA so that we can process your application without delay.

You may also need to obtain other approvals before building work starts on your food premises. This will reduce the possibility of expensive mistakes and avoid potential breaches of the relevant legislation.

Approvals (where applicable) that you must obtain before starting construction of your food premises include:

When you design, build, or fit-out a new food premises - or make changes to an existing one - your first step is to develop new plans or obtain existing plans. These plans will allow Council to assess the proposed food premises before any building work starts.

The plans and specifications provided with your DA need to be detailed to enable Council to make a proper assessment of the proposed food premises. This is particularly important if you are seeking to obtain a concurrent Construction Certificate.

The plans required are:

  • a site plan (not needed for mobile food vehicles) to scale at either 1:100 or 1:200, showing:
    • the location of the premises in relation to surrounding dwellings and adjacent land-uses
    • car parking
    • refuse storage area
    • toilet facilities
  • a floor plan to scale of 1:100 of the premises detailing:
    • layout
    • room size
    • location of plumbing fixtures
    • an elevation plan detailing the proposed kitchen fit-out (all fittings and equipment).

Details required on plans

You need to ensure these details are included on the plans and drawings for your proposed food premises:

  • finishes to floors, walls and ceilings
  • layout of all equipment, benches, fittings and fixtures, and mechanical ventilation
  • door and window openings
  • where seating is provided for diners, the number of square metres of floor space available for dining and the number of persons to be catered for in this area
  • customer and staff toilet details (if detached, provide the distance to the facilities and the number available for use)
  • mechanical exhaust ventilation
  • process flow, from product received through to end-product delivered.

Plans and specifications must include an itemised list of all appliances and equipment and be designed to show compliance with the Australian Food Standards Code 3.2.3 - Food Premises and Equipment and AS 4674-2004 - Design, Construction and Fit-out of Food Premises.

General requirements

You will need to provide these details when you submit your plans:

  • name, address and contact details of the architect, draftsperson or shopfitter
  • name of food business operator
  • proposed name of premises
  • address of the premises and real property description (ie, lot and registered plan number)
  • intended nature of the food operation
  • drawing scale and date the plans were drafted
  • an overview of the types of activities and food processing to be carried out on the premises, and the types of food involved in the activities and processes.

AS 4674-2004 - Design, Construction and Fit-out of Food Premises (the Standard) provides criteria on design, construction and fit-out to assist with compliance with Australian Food Standards Code 3.2.3 for new buildings and alterations to existing buildings.

The Standard aims to ensure that food premises:

  1. have sufficient space, facilities and suitable equipment to produce safe food
  2. are provided with services such as potable water, effective sewage disposal and sufficient light and ventilation for the food handling operations
  3. are easy to clean and maintain clean
  4. are proofed against entry by and harbourage of pests
  5. provide facilities for staff to maintain standards of personal hygiene and equipment cleanliness that will protect food from contamination.

Structural requirements and performance standards

  • 2.1.5: Protection against pests:
    • Provide pest protection at all external openings to premises such as self-closing screen doors or similar devices.
  • 2.2.1: Water supply:
    • Provide water supply to the kitchen dishwasher and pot sink, and cleaners sink, which shall be at a minimum temperature of 80 degrees celsius.
    • Other sinks shall have warm water available.
  • 2.3: Sewage and waste water disposal:
    • All plumbing and drainage shall comply with AS3500 - floors in the food preparation area and shall be graded and drained to a floor waste.
  • 2.4: Garbage and recycling materials:
    • Provide sufficient enclosed garbage receptacles for solid and liquid waste.
    • Waste bins shall be stored on a sealed floor.
  • 2.5: Ventilation:
    • Provide a mechanical ventilation certificate for air extraction system, including hood design above grill, hotplates, deep fryers and the automatic dishwashing machine.
  • 2.6: Lighting:
    • Provide flush-mounted covered light fittings over all food preparation areas and associated areas where open food is handled or stored.
  • 3.1, 3.2: Floors, walls, and ceilings finishes:
    • Provide approved ceiling, wall and floor surfaces in food preparation areas to facilitate effective cleaning and prevent harbourage for pests and vermin.
    • Install integral/continuous covering on floor and walls/plinths intersections within all food preparation areas to facilitate effective cleaning and prevent accumulation of grease, dirt etc, (feather edge skirtings are not acceptable).
    • Wet area floors (kitchen and food preparation areas) shall be effectively graded and drained to approved floor wastes.
    • Ceilings in the kitchen and food preparation areas shall be impervious, sealed and smooth.
    • Brick walls in food preparation areas shall be provided with a troweled cement surface.
    • All new walls dividing main cooking area, preparation and storage areas shall be a minimum solid core construction type wall (full details of construction shall be supplied to Council).
  • 4.2: Fixtures, fittings, and equipment:
    • Provide flexible connections to main gas cooking appliance to facilitate effective access for cleaning.
    • Provide approved wheels or casters on kitchen storage units and appliances to facilitate ease of movement.
    • Fit accurate thermometer to built-in cool room.
    • Ensure all fixtures, fittings and equipment shall either be made moveable or butted fitted to the wall and sealed.
    • In case of cupboard and cabinets, no backing boards shall be installed where cupboard abuts a wall surface.
    • All service pipes, wires and conduits are mounted on wall off-set brackets (including plumbing and drainage pipe work, electrical and telecommunications).
    • Coffee machine to be plumbed and drained to sewer.
  • 4.4: Hand washing facilities:
    • Provide hands-free operating hand wash basin in food preparation areas, together with soap dispenser and hand towels (warm water only).
  • 5.1: Staff facilities and toilet facilities:
    • Provide separate staff and/or office facilities and chemical store outside the food preparation areas.
    • Provide warm water to wash basins in staff toilets.

We can help you

If you need more information about proposed food premises approval requirements, please contact our Environmental Health Food Officer on:

If you have any questions about your Development Application, supporting plans or other approvals required, contact our Development Help Desk: