We work closely with the 770 retail food businesses trading within Lake Macquarie City to minimise the risk of food-borne illness by promoting a high standard of safety. We are responsible for inspecting, educating and regulating retail food businesses operating in the City.
Council plays an important role in food regulation and promoting safe food handling practices. We regularly inspects premises where food is served in Lake Macquarie City (other than those premises licensed by the NSW Food Authority).
The role of Council includes:
conducting regular inspection of food premises
conducting food and hygiene seminars
following up complaints from members of the public.
The random unannounced inspections by Council officers are designed to assess compliance with the Food Act and (national) Food Safety standards, including the following aspects:
ensuring that food is being handled and produced hygienically and will be safe to eat
minimising the potential risk for food poisoning
ensuring that business operators and food handlers have appropriate skills and knowledge in food safety and food hygiene
assessing the condition and cleanliness of premises, equipment and appliances.
Our Environmental Health Officers use the Australian Food Safety Assessment Tool for food premises inspections, which is produced by the Australian Institute of Environmental Health, Australia’s peak professional body for Environmental Health. The tool is used by many councils across Australia, and helps ensure consistency in assessment.
Lodging a complaint regarding a food business
If you have a food safety concern to report or you have observed unsatisfactory food handling practices at a food business, you should contact Council on 02 4921 0333 or provide feedback using our online form.
When reporting to Council, you should include the name of the business, the address of the business, the date and time that you purchased the food or were at the premises, what you purchased and what you observed. We recommend that you provide your name and contact details in order for the Environmental Health Officer to be able to contact you to seek any necessary further information to carry out the investigation.
The Environmental Health Officer will assess and determine what action may be taken based on their investigation.
You will be informed when the Officer has received your report and has finalised the investigation
If you suspect you are suffering from food poisoning, please seek medical advice as soon as possible. Where you believe to have contacted the illness from a retail food business, contact Council so the matter can be investigated with minimal delay. If multiple persons have contacted the illness, the matter should be referred to the NSW Food Authority through their helpline 1300 552 406. Samples of food held to support the complaint should be held in your freezer pending investigation.
Smoking ban in commercial outdoor dining areas
Since 6 July 2015 smoking has not been permitted in a commercial outdoor dining area, being:
- a seated dining area
- within four metres of a seated dining area on licenced premises, restaurant or cafe
- within ten metres of a food fair stall.
For more information about smoke free laws or to report a breach contact to NSW Health.
I'M ALERT Food Safety program
I'M ALERT Food Safety is a free, online, food safety training program provided to food businesses operating in the City.
The program can be accessed online, 24-hours a day, seven-days a week and includes the basic food safety principles required to run a safe food business.
You can tailor the food safety training to meet the needs of your business.
Page last updated: 31 May 2018