Food safety when food is given away

If you are providing food for free to the public you do not need a Food Act Registration or Notification but you still need to make sure the food is safe and suitable.

Some community groups give food away as part of their event or function. If you are asking for a donation for the food at your event or if food is included in any type of entrance fee, then you are considered to be selling food and you must register or notify us.

When giving food away you can ensure the food is safe by following these steps:

  • keep high-risk cold food under 5 degrees Celsius (like raw sausages, milk, cheese) by placing them in the fridge, or using eskies
  • use ice bricks to keep eskies cold for longer than ice or ice sheets
  • ensure cooked food reaches 75 degrees Celsius
  • regularly and thoroughly wash hands with warm running water, liquid soap and dry thoroughly with paper towel
  • do not use hand sanitiser in place of washing hands as it is not effective on hands that are not already clean
  • be aware of the allergens in the foods being served and have a list of ingredients available onsite for any customer who requests them
  • ask volunteers to complete the online training resource called DoFoodSafely to learn about food safety and how to prepare safe food.  

If you are not sure if you can give your food away free or you need to register or notify your food event, contact our Environmental Health Unit to discuss.

Page last updated: Thursday, 16 September 2021