Food Hygiene, Complaints and Food Legislation

Food complaints

The City of West Torrens Environmental Health Department receives various complaints regarding food business and common complaints can include:

  • Poor food handling in a food business.
  • Unclean premises.
  • Pests found within a food business.
  • Foreign matter in food.
  • Alleged food poisoning

Making a food complaint

The City of West Torrens Environmental Health Officers investigate food complaints under the Food Act 2001 and Food Safety Standards.  If you have a food complaint it is important that you observe the following steps: 

  • Contact our Environmental Health Department as soon as possible.
  • Do not remove foreign objects from the foodstuff if possible.
  • Preserve the food by keeping the food refrigerated if it’s perishable or in the freezer if it is frozen.
  • Keep any labels or packaging if possible.
  • Make note of when and where you brought the food and when it was first opened for use.
  • The time and date that you ate any food and the food consumed that may have caused an illness, or the issue that you concerned about such as poor food handling.

What happens next

When you lodge a food complaint with our Environmental Health Department the following can happen:

  • the food may be analysed
  • the food premises could be inspected
  • the complaint could be forwarded to another authority for further investigation
  • the responsible business can be fined.

If your complaint is referred to court you may be asked to appear.

The Environmental Health Department will advise you of the final outcome of your complaint.



Council's Environmental Health Officers routinely inspect all food business to educate food handlers and assess compliance with the Food Act 2001 and the Food Safety Standards.

The frequency of food inspections is based on the risk category of the business and the previous history of how well the business has complied with the legislation during previous inspections.

Officers also conduct pre-opening inspections as well as providing advice on fit out of fixtures and fittings to food business.

Fees and charges

Routine food premises Inspections are at a cost to the business:

  • Small businesses $85.50
  • Large businesses $214.00.

There is no cost imposed for follow up inspections, pre opening inspections or inspections to provide advice on fit outs.


Food Business Notification

Notification is a requirement under the Food Act, 2001 and all businesses undertaking food handling must notifying their council of their business and contact details.

The proprietor of a food business must complete a Food Business Notification and return it to the City of West Torrens within 14 days of commencing the food business. Notification only needs to be undertaken once unless the food business details change such as change of owners, names and contact details

Notification Forms can be obtained from the Environmental Health Department or by downloading it here:  Food Business Notification Form pdf (99KB).


Home-based food businesses

If you are thinking about setting up a food business from your home it is important that you contact Council before proceeding. There are both health and planning requirements to consider before you begin operation.

Under the Food Act 2001, home based food businesses undertaking food handling activities or selling food are required to complete and submit a Food Business Notification to their local Council of their food business details on the Food Business Notification Form pdf (99KB).

A home based food business is required to comply with the Food Safety Standards. The standards do provide for some exemptions to the provision of certain fixtures and fittings if approved in writing by the appropriate enforcement agency.  Download a copy of the application for exemption from Food Safety Standards pdf (142KB).

For detailed information the guidelines for operating a commercial home catering activity are also available.


Food safety at temporary events

Extra care is required to ensure outdoor event food safety standards are maintained in accordance with the food safety requirements.

Please keep in mind there may be other Council requirements or applications depending upon the nature of the event that may apply.

Download the Food safety at outdoor events fact sheet. pdf (75KB)


Food safety training

Food safety is the responsibility of food business and the City of West Torrens is offering free online food safety training.  It is called the I’M ALERT Food Safety On-line Training.

Food businesses are required to ensure that all staff have adequate food handling skills and knowledge to ensure safe food is provided to customers. This training can assist you and your staff to develop the skills and knowledge in an interactive, logical and easy learning format. 

The City of West Torrens invites food businesses and individuals to undertake this training.   

About the program

You’ll find that the training tool is easy to follow and entertaining.

The training covers food handling and hygiene topics such as:

  • food handling skills and knowledge
  • food storage and processing
  • temperature control
  • potentially hazardous foods
  • food handler hygiene and cleanliness
  • cleaning and sanitising equipment.

Most sections include an interactive quiz and on completion a training acknowledgement form can be printed for your staff records.

Do the training

Launch I'm alert and follow the on screen instructions.

More information

For information and resources available from the South Australia Department of Health relating to Food Safety and business, visit the Food Safety Index page.

Email the Service Centre or call 8416 6333 and ask to speak to an Environmental Health Officer.


Construction and fit-out of food businesses

Food businesses are required to ensure that their food premises, fixtures, fittings, equipment and transport vehicles are designed and constructed to minimise opportunities for contamination of food.

The Australian Food Safety Standards 9 Chapter 3.3.2 contain the requirements for fitting out a  new food premises or upgrading an existing food premises.

Download a copy of the Food Premises - Guidelines for Construction and Fit-Out pdf (348KB)

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