There are four classes of food premises: class 1 (highest risk), class 2, class 3, and class 4 (lowest risk). The purpose of the classification system is to ensure that the level of regulation is better matched to the level of food safety risk associated with the food handling activities at different types of premises. The greater the chance of something going wrong during the food handling process, and the greater the potential impact on people's health, the higher the level of regulation. The system sets out different food safety requirements for each class based on the food safety risks of its highest risk food handling activity.
The classes are:
- class 1: hospitals, child care centres and listed facilities for the aged, at which ready to eat potentially hazardous food is served
- class 2: other premises that handle potentially hazardous unpackaged foods
- class 3: premises handling unpackaged low risk foods, selling potentially hazardous pre-packaged foods, or the warehousing or distribution of pre-packaged foods
- class 4: premises that only handle pre-packaged low risk foods, and certain other low risk or occasional activities.
Class 1, 2 and 3 premises must be registered. Class 4 premises must be notified. Notification is for premises with the lowest risk food handling, and is once-off, with no fee payable.