Food Act 2006 - Queensland

Service summary

The main purposes of the Food Act 2006 are as follows:

  • ensuring food for sale is safe and suitable for human consumption;
  • preventing misleading conduct in connection with the sale of food; and
  • providing for the application of the Food Standards Code.

The Act provides controls over the preparation, handling and sale of food in Queensland.

It also sets out offences against the Act and provides for prosecutions and penalties for such offences.

The Food Act 2006 (Section 39) requires that food businesses and persons must comply with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code).

The following Subordinate Legislation should be examined:

  • Food Regulation 2006

The following Guides or Booklets are available:

There are a variety of food safety resources available from the department website.

Service type

Regulatory Obligation

An obligation defined in law. A business must comply with relevant services.

Definition of terms

Food business

means a business, enterprise or activity that involves:

  1. the handling of food intended for sale; or
  2. the sale of food; regardless of whether the business, enterprise or activity concerned is of a commercial, charitable or community nature and whether it involves the handling or sale of food on one occasion only.
Handling of food

includes the making, manufacturing, producing, collection, extracting, processing, storing, transporting, delivering, preparing, treating, preserving, packing, cooking, thawing, serving or displaying of food.

Mobile premises

for a food business, means:

  1. premises that is a vehicle from which a person sells unpackaged food by retail; or
  2. premises that are a food vending machine.
Off site catering

in relation to a food business, means preparing and serving potentially hazardous food at a place other than the principal place of business for the food business. Off site catering does not include:

  1. merely delivering food under an arrangement with, or on the order of, a consumer (e.g. delivering pizzas from a takeaway pizza shop); or
  2. the sale of food from mobile premises or temporary premises (e.g. the sale of ice creams from a mobile ice cream van).
On site catering

in relation to a food business, means preparing and serving potentially hazardous food to all consumers at the premises from which the business is carried on, under an agreement under which the food is:

  1. of a predetermined type;
  2. for a predetermined number of person;
  3. served at a predetermined time; and
  4. for a predetermined cost.

On site catering does not include:

  1. preparing and serving food at an eating establishment; or
  2. merely preparing and displaying food for self service by consumers (e.g. preparing food for consumption from a buffet at a restaurant).
Temporary premises

for a food business, means premises other than fixed premises or mobile premises, and includes, for example, a stall or a tent.

Additional information

Please contact your local government for further information in relation to food business responsibilities or food safety and hygiene matters.

For further information about food labelling and composition requirements, please contact your local Public Health Unit.


Appeal process


Compliance Mechanisms and Penalties:

The department is responsible for regulation of provisions of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) in relation to the composition, labelling, packaging and advertising of food.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is an independent statutory agency which is part of the Australian Governments Health and Ageing portfolio, responsible for developing standards for inclusion or amendment to the code. The code is the official legal document that is given legal force (in full or in part) via State/Territory, Commonwealth and New Zealand food legislation.

The department and local governments have a role to play in investigating alleged foodborne illness outbreaks and complaints relating to foreign matter in food. Non-compliance with the Act carries significant penalties of up to $110,000 and two years imprisonment.

Local governments have responsibilities for enforcement of the food safety standards and can issue improvement notices to food businesses found not complying.  Failure to comply with an improvement notice is an offence and can result in the food business being prosecuted.

Authorised persons (department and local government officers) have powers to enter, inspect, investigate, serve notices, open products, take and remove samples, seize and detain evidence.  Provisions exist for officers to mark, fasten, seal and secure food to remove it from circulation while an investigation occurs and to direct removal or ensure the recall of products where a health risk exists.

Local governments can suspend or cancel food business licences or apply for an injunction which may involve a food business having to cease operation.

The department and local governments can issue infringement notices, also known as 'on-the-spot' fines, for certain offences under the Food Act 2006.  Offences may be prosecuted in the magistrates court.

Biosecurity Queensland is responsible for Queensland's primary industries, which includes animal and plant biosecurity.

Safe Food Production Queensland (SFPQ) is a statutory authority that is responsible for the regulation of the production and processing of primary produce where a food safety scheme applies, under the Food Production (Safety) Act 2000.  Currently, there are food safety schemes for:

  • egg and egg products
  • dairy produce
  • meat and particular meat products
  • seafood.

Review or Appeal Mechanisms:

The Act provides for the review and appeal of decisions made in the administration and enforcement of the Act. For details regarding appeals and reviews of decisions, see Chapter 9 of the Act.

Administering agency

Queensland Health
Health Protection Unit
Food Safety Standards and Regulation

Contact details

Queensland Health
Health Protection Unit
Food Safety Standards and Regulation

Operating address:
Queensland Health Building
147 - 163 Charlotte Street Central
Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Mailing address:
GPO Box 48
Queensland 4001


07 3328 9310


Queensland Health Opens in a new browser window

Supporting information


The information contained on the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) web site, or via packages or other sources is intended for general guidance only.

To the full extent permitted by law, the Federal, State, Territory and Local Governments make no representations or warranties (expressed or implied) in relation to the information, including its accuracy, currency or completeness.

The business information provided does not constitute professional or legal advice, nor is the use of any third party resource an endorsement of the information contained, the associated organisation, product or service. It is recommended that you obtain appropriate professional and /or independent legal advice to ensure that the material provided here is relevant to your particular circumstances.

To the full extent permitted by law the Federal, State, Territory and Local Governments, their employees and agents do not accept any liability for any reason, including without limitation, liability in negligence, to any person for the general information which is provided herein, or in respect of anything, including the consequences of anything done, or not done, by any such person in whole or partial reliance upon the information.