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A glossary of terms used on the FoodTrader website

(the) Act ‘The Act’ refers to the Victorian Food Act 1984.
Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) The collection of bi-national standards designed to promote national consistency in Australia’s and New Zealand’s food laws. It lists requirements for food businesses in relation to food safety practices, general requirements and food premises set up and equipment. It also outlines the requirements for foods such as additives, labelling and genetically modified foods.
Council Also referred to as local governments, councils are the third tier of the Australian political system. There are 79 councils in Victoria, each consisting of between five and 12 councillors who are democratically elected to govern a particular geographic area in the best interests of the local community.
Environmental health officer (EHO) Environmental health officers assess risk and monitor and enforce public health laws in a range of areas including food safety. They were formerly known as health inspectors.
Food Act 1984 (the Act) The principal Act that controls the sale of food in Victoria. Under the Act, food business owners must ensure food sold to customers is safe and suitable to eat. In this report, unless otherwise specified, the terms the ‘Act’ refer to this Act.
Food The Food Act 1984 defines food as:

  • anything that people eat or drink
  • ingredients of a food, including additives to a food
  • drinks, including water, alcohol, milk, tea, coffee, fruit juice and soft drinks
  • chewing gum, including ingredients and additives
Food business Under the Act, a business, enterprise or activity (other than those involved in primary production) that involves handling of food sold or intended for sale.
Food handling The making, manufacturing, producing, collecting, extracting, processing, storing, transporting, delivering, preparing, treating, preserving, packing, cooking, thawing, serving or displaying of food.
Food premises For the purposes of the Act, ‘food premises’ refers to any premises where food is sold, or handled with the intention that it be sold, except primary food production premises. Food premises may be fixed, temporary or mobile.
Food safety program (FSP) A documented program developed by a business that describes how it will manage food safety through the identification and control of hazards in the production, manufacturing and handling of food as described in the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system. The program also specifies the records that the business maintains to demonstrate the implementation of the program and actions taken to keep food safe.
Food safety supervisor Person(s) within your business responsible for looking after food safety. The food safety supervisor can recognise, prevent and alleviate the potential hazards associated with handling of food. They must have met the appropriate food safety competency standards for the type of premises they are working in and have the ability and authority (of the proprietor) to supervise other people handling food and ensure it is done safely. For information about qualifications, go to
Foodborne illness Illness caused through eating contaminated food, such as chemical contamination or a virus or food-poisoning bacteria.
Potable water Water that is acceptable and safe for human consumption. Potable water must be used in a food business for washing food and/or food ingredients, for cooking, adding to food and drinks, making ice, cleaning of food contact surfaces, cleaning food containers and utensils, hand washing and personal hygiene.
Proprietor For the purposes of the Act, ‘proprietor’ refers to the business, community group or not-for-profit organisation responsible for the operation of a food premises.
Ready-to-eat food Food that is ordinarily consumed in the same state in which it is sold. This does not include nuts in the shell and whole, raw fruits or vegetables that are intended for hulling, peeling or washing by the consumer.
Sale ‘Sale’ has a very broad meaning in the Food Act. The most common situations it covers include:

  • being paid to provide food to people or businesses, or receiving other valuable consideration, such as from a retail or wholesale premises or at a market or from a stall or van or as a caterer
  • selling food whether for a profit or as a fundraiser for charity
  • offering or displaying food for sale, even if you don’t sell any
  • selling food to someone who is going to re-sell it
  • receiving food or storing food in order to sell it
  • providing food to someone as part of a inclusive contract for accommodation or service (such as providing breakfast at a hotel or bed and breakfast; providing meals to residents in nursing homes; providing meals to children in day-care centres)
  • providing food to an employee at the workplace as part of the employee’s award or contract
  • giving away food ‘in furtherance of trade’ or as an advertisement (such as to promote your business)
  • supplying food to patients in hospitals or prisoners in prisons
Sanitise To apply heat or chemicals, or a combination of heat and chemicals, to kill food poisoning bacteria or reduce the number of bacteria to a minimum level.