Giving away food samples in Victoria

Information for businesses giving away food samples in Victoria - exhibitions, trade shows and street promotions

Many Australian and international businesses visit Victoria to participate in exhibitions and trade shows. Many of these businesses choose to sample food or drinks while exhibiting and are required to register a temporary food premises with a Victorian council to do so.

Another popular activity for businesses is giving out food or drinks in promotion of their business on the street or in particular public venues such as parks or stations. These activities also need to be registered with a Victorian council.

 

 

The Victorian Food Act (1984) states that all businesses participating in the sale of food must be registered with a municipal council. If you intend on giving away food for the purpose of advertisement or in furtherance of trade, this is considered a sale of food under the Victorian Food Act and includes sampling of both food and drinks.

This means you are required to register with a Victorian council before sampling at the show. But don’t panic! The registration process is quick and easy.

If you are from interstate or overseas, you need to register with the council within whose municipality you will first be trading.

For example, if you are from Sydney and plan to trade at a trade show in Melbourne, you will need to register with Melbourne City Council.

If you are from Victoria, you need to register with the council where your business is based. However, this can be subject to different conditions. Once you begin the registration process your principal council will become apparent.

In Victoria, all temporary premises, such as the stalls at exhibitions and trade shows, apply for registration online using Streatrader.

To start the application process simply create an account and log in the registration form will then be made available for you to fill in.

On completion of the form, the Streatrader system will lodge it automatically to your principal (registering) council for review and approval.

During this time you may receive a phone call from this council to discuss your application. Once the council is satisfied with your application they will accept it online and you will receive an email notifying you of your successful application.

In Victoria, food premises are grouped into classes, each of which has a certain level of food safety risk associated with it. The highest class a temporary food premises (eg; expo stall) can be is a Class 2. The next is a Class 3 and the lowest is a Class 4.

You are required to meet certain requirements depending on the risk associated with your activities. Depending on your class, you may need to have a Food Safety Supervisor and a Food Safety Program.

Please see the table below to determine your class and associated requirements under the Food Act.

Class

Example

 

 

4

Giving away pre-packaged, unopened low risk food or drinks

For example: Giving away wrapped confectionary or biscuits, or packets of chips

 

Wine tastings with cheese – does not include other alcohol

Requirements

Food Safety Supervisor

Food Safety Program

 

Not required

Not required

 

Class

Example

 

 

 

3

Giving away unpackaged, low risk food or drinks

For example: You are sampling your product and opening up the packet for people to taste

Giving away packaged, unopened high risk food
For example: Giving away unopened tubs of yogurt

Giving away samples of unpackaged high risk foods

For example: Giving away cups of yogurt or ice cream


Class 3 is the most common class for businesses participating in sampling

Requirements

Food Safety Supervisor

Food Safety Program

 

Not required

However, it is recommended that staff have some food safety knowledge

Businesses participating in Class 3 activities are not required to have a Food safety program, but are required to keep minimum records if applicable  – please follow this link for further information: information on minimum records

 

Class

Example

 

 

2

Giving away foods that have been changed from their original product through cooking or processing
For example: Sampling a pasta product by giving it away with a pasta sauce  cooked on site


If you believe you may be a Class 2 but are unsure, it is worth contacting your council to make sure.

Requirements

Food Safety Supervisor

Food Safety Program

 

Businesses participating in Class 2 activities are required to have a qualified Food Safety Supervisor – please follow this link for further information: information for Food Safety Supervisors

Businesses participating in Class 2 activities are required to have a Food Safety Program – please follow this link for further information: FSP information

Local councils are responsible for determining and charging registration fees in Victoria. They cannot charge you for a Class 4 registration, but a Class 2 or 3 may incur a fee. You can view the above table to determine your class.

Please contact your registering council for information in regard to their fees.

Now you are registered, all you need to do before you can trade is log in to your Streatrader account and lodge what is called a Statement of Trade (SOT).

A SOT is a short form available to you on your account once registered. The form asks you when and where you will be trading, and can be sent to any council in Victoria free of charge.  You are required to fill one out each time you trade in Victoria. If you return to Victoria in the future you can just log on to the same account and lodge a SOT with the appropriate date and location for your upcoming event, as long as your registration is current.

 

For more information on things such as registration, registration requirements, fees and time frames please contact your principal (registering) council and ask to speak to an environmental health officer.

You can find your council’s contact details here, or by searching ‘find your local council’ online.

The Streatrader website contains help guides and FAQs that can assist you with your application. Try looking under the "How To Use" or "FAQ" headings above to find more information.

Your council’s environmental health officer will also be able to assist you with more information and your online application.

Below are some publications and posters that may be useful for your event:

Victorian Department of Health, posters and publications - Keeping food safe

Free online food handler learning program - Dofoodsafely

Information about Food Safety Programs and Food Safety Program templates

Information about Food handlers, Food Safety Supervisors and required training

 

A print friendly flyer is available here