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Mobile food business

If you're a mobile food business, you need to meet the same food safety requirements as other food businesses, regardless of the size of your business or how often you sell food. 

Am I a mobile food business?

Mobile food businesses use food premises designed to be permanent but movable, including: 

  • food vans, trucks, trailers, bicycles, boats, planes and portable buildings (e.g. shipping containers) 
  • vehicles used for on-site food preparation (e.g. hamburgers, hot dogs and kebabs, coffee, juices, popcorn and fairyfloss), and the sale of any type of food including prepackaged food. 

Food vending machines may be considered mobile premises in some areas - check with your council. Vehicles only used to transport food are not considered to be mobile premises. 

What are the requirements? 

Mobile food businesses must comply with relevant parts of the Food Standards Code, including: 

Getting started 

  • before you start your business, you need to notify the council where your business vehicle is garaged 
  • you may also need to notify other councils you intend to work in 
  • if you change your business's name, location or food activities you need to tell your council before these changes are made 

Food safety skills and knowledge 

  • everyone in your business who handles food must know how to keep it safe to eat 
  • you or someone in your business may need formal training e.g. a certified food safety supervisor - check with your local council 

Premises design 

Your premises should be designed and fitted out to handle food safely and avoid contamination. Make sure you have: 

  • a layout and enough space to work without contaminating food (e.g. to keep raw and cooked food separate and waste away from food) 
  • permanent basin/s used only for hand washing with warm running water, soap and single use towels 
  • fixtures, fittings and equipment like sinks and dishwashers that are designed to be connected to a water supply must be plumbed-in 
  • fridges that can keep food at 5°C or colder (and frozen food frozen hard) and suitable equipment for hot-holding food at 60°C or above 
  • enough storage to protect food and packaging 
  • floors, walls and benches that can be easily cleaned 
  • a supply of drinking-quality water and good light and ventilation 
  • a system to safely store and dispose of waste 
  • convenient toilet facilities (e.g. your own portaloo or a nearby building's facilities) for your food handlers. 

Check with your council for advice and to make sure you are set up correctly. 

Top food safety tips 

Prevent contamination 

  • protect food at all times during storage, processing, transport and display 
  • thoroughly wash and dry hands before handling food: use warm running water and soap - scrub wrists, palms, backs of hands, between fingers and under nails, and then dry hands using single-use towels 
  • do not handle food if you are ill 
  • keep raw foods separate from ready-to-eat foods - e.g. use different cutting boards, store raw food below ready-to-eat food 
  • protect food from pests, waste, chemicals, dirt, animals and people. 

Cleaning and sanitising 

  • keep the premises clear of rubbish, food waste, dirt and grease 
  • keep food contact surfaces like benches, utensils and containers clean and sanitary 
  • clean before you sanitise 
  • sanitise using bleach, a commercial food-safe sanitiser or a dishwasher on longest hottest cycle 

Food traceability 

  • keep records of your ingredients and suppliers, and businesses you've sold to 
  • if you are a food manufacturer, wholesale supplier or importer, have a written recall plan and follow it if a recall is needed 

Safe food temperatures & processing 

  • potentially hazardous foods (e.g. food containing meat, egg and dairy) need to be kept cold (5°C or colder) or hot (60°C or hotter) during receipt, storage, display and transport 
  • prepare food quickly to minimise time out of the fridge (e.g. when making sandwiches) 
  • cook food to safe temperatures (e.g. 75°C for poultry and minced meat) 
  • cool cooked food quickly to store in the fridge (e.g. by dividing into smaller portions in the fridge) - within required timeframes 
  • check temperatures with a food thermometer 
  • know the critical limits for safety (e.g. acidity, water activity) for processes you use 

More information 



Page last updated 6 December 2023