Food safety

Food legislation and standards

Food in Australia is governed by the Food Standards Code which is a comprehensive list of rules that all food businesses must comply with. It covers things like labelling, additives, standards on specific foods, microbiological limits, standards for food business fit-outs and processes, and primary production of meat, seafood, dairy and eggs. 

In Western Australia, food businesses must comply with the Food Act 2008 and Food Regulations 2009, which incorporate the Food Standards CodeThese regulations do not apply once the food has been taken home – it is important that everyone plays their role in ensuring food safety.  

The WA Department of Health have developed the “Play it Food Safe” campaign to help reduce the number of food-borne illness cases. The “Play it Food Safe” aims to change the behaviours and culture surrounding food preparation and storage.

Correctly preparing, cooking and storing food in the home is the simplest way to avoid food poisoning.

Follow these food safety tips:

  • Clean: Always clean your hands, benchtops and utensils properly.
  • Separate: Keep raw foods (meat, chicken, seafood and eggs) separate from ready-to-eat food.
  • Cook: Cook food until it is steaming hot throughout.
  • Chill: Avoid the temperature danger zone (5 to 60 degrees Celsius) – keep cold foods cold, in the fridge or freezer.

The “Play it Food Safe” information can be found at Food safety (

The handling and preparation of eggs is also important as eggs can be a source of food poisoning. The Department of Health have suggested the following;

  • Check eggs before you buy them to make sure they are undamaged, clean and within date;
  • Take care not to splash raw egg onto other foods, worktops or dishes, and always wash your hands after touching eggs;
  • Avoid serving raw or lightly cooked eggs to young children, elderly people and pregnant women;
  • Cook eggs until both the white and yolk are solid.

For more information on eggs visit  Eggs (

The Town's Environmental Health Officers (EHO's) conduct regular inspections of all food businesses, which must be registered under the Food Act 2008. EHO's also regularly sample all manufacturing food businesses for labelling and chemical compliance, and retail businesses selling ready to eat foods for microbiological analysis. Sampling is coordinated by the Local Health Authorities Analytical Committee (LHACC) for all local governments in Western Australia. Discretionary sampling is also undertaken by the Town.

For general consumer information refer to the Foods Standards Australia New Zealand website.

Food business complaints

Complaints regarding food businesses, food handlers, food products or suspected food poisoning incidents should be reported to the Town as soon as possible.

For information on general food safety for consumers refer to the Department of Health website or the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website.

For information on reporting food safety offences refer to the Department of Health website.

Labelling of food products

Food labels are required to comply with the Food Standards Code. If you a reporting a food labelling issue, please submit the label or a photograph.

For further information on food labelling please refer to the Department of Health website or the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website.

Foreign objects and mould

If you find a foreign object or mould in food, please keep the sample as you found it so it can be used as evidence and sent for testing by the Town if necessary. If it is a perishable food please keep it in the refrigerator or freeze it until it can be collected.

Food poisoning

Did you know that food poisoning is not always caused by the last thing you ate? Food poisoning symptoms sometimes don't show until a few days after the consumption of food. It's often easier to blame the last restaurant you ate at, but you can easily pick up an illness from food you prepare and eat at home. 

There are also many common types of gastrointestinal viral infections that cause identical symptoms to food poisoning but are spread through human to human contact.  

If you are making a complaint about food poisoning, visit your doctor beforehand and request to be tested for food poisoning. Having the tests will help identify the type of bacteria that has caused your food poisoning and the type of food that may have caused your illness. If you have any leftover food that may be tested, keep the remaining portion under refrigerated conditions (below 5ºC) or frozen.

For information on food poisoning please refer to the Department of Health website.

For information on reporting food safety offences refer to the Department of Health website. 

Food safety tips

  • Take care when handling or processing food in your home, to avoid cross contamination and possible food poisoning.
  • Wash your hands before handling food and dry with a paper towel. Always wash your hands in between handling raw foods and ready to eat foods.
  • Limit the time potentially hazardous foods (PHF) which could cause food poisoning such as meats, fish, dairy, processed salads are out of temperature control.
  • Check your fridge temperature regularly to ensure it is running below 5ºC.  
  • Keep raw PHF food such as meats away from ready to eat food or store in sealed containers. 
  • Defrost food in a microwave or refrigerator. Never defrost food on the kitchen sink.
  • Ensure food is thoroughly cooked through (especially chicken - should not be pink).
  • Let leftovers cool down before placing in the fridge otherwise the fridge temperature will rise and cause possible spoilage for other products in it.
  • Keep leftovers stored for a maximum of 3 days

For further information refer to the Department of Health website or the Food Safety Information Council website.

Food safety myths

For some common food safety myths refer to the Department of Health website. You may be surprised at the answers.

To report a problem

To report a food issue please call Customer Service on 9311 8111 or email with your contact details and address of the property of concern. Your request will be allocated to an Environmental Health Officer for follow-up.