FoodTrader is an online system for the state-wide registration and notification of food premises, including temporary and mobile food premises, food vending machines, water transport vehicles and permanent food premises (if the local council in which the premises is located is using FoodTrader for the management of fixed food premises). The system is also used to record and use compliance or other information required to administer the Food Act 1984 (the Food Act).
The information provided online is entered into the FoodTrader database which is used by local government to administer the Food Act, address local public health issues and needs, or enhance opportunities to protect public health. This includes assessing notifications and applications for registration, and monitoring compliance with the Food Act by food businesses. As registration and notification of food businesses on FoodTrader is statewide, councils across the state have access to, and can use, FoodTrader for this purpose.
The FoodTrader online system and database may also be used by local government to record and use other compliance and registration information that relates to registrations under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (the Public Health and Wellbeing Act), addressing local public health issues and needs, or enhancing opportunities to protect public health.
What personal information does FoodTrader collect?
FoodTrader collects personal information from councils, food businesses, customers or interested members of the public, community groups selling food, and water carters. Personal information collected by FoodTrader may include:
- the content of any electronic forms or other information you enter via this website;
- information submitted if you participate in an online survey;
- any messages or comments you submit via this website or to email addresses displayed on this website, which may include personal information such as name, email address and telephone number;information entered by councils about your food business, including its operation and results of inspections;
- other compliance and registration information that relates to registrations under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act, addressing local public health issues and needs, or enhancing opportunities to protect public health.
FoodTrader is not intended for the collection of health information and we request that you refrain from recording any health information on the system. If it is necessary for you to submit personal information about someone else, please ensure you have taken reasonable steps to seek their consent and provided them with the information in this collection notice.
If you apply to register or notify your food premises or water transport vehicle via this website, the personal information collected from you will include your name, your business address, your contact details (telephone, email), and may include some details about your business or community group. Information collected will include personal information about applications to register or notify food premises received by council. This includes applications lodged via this website and also applications lodged in “hard copy” form which are entered into FoodTrader by council staff.
Councils may also use FoodTrader to record any information relevant to administering the Food Act. They may also use FoodTrader to record other compliance and registration information that relates to registrations under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act, addressing local public health issues and needs, or enhancing opportunities to protect public health.
How is personal information used or handled in FoodTrader?
Where personal information is collected, such information may be used or disclosed by local councils or the Department for purposes including the following:
- administering the Food Act;
- facilitating registrations under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act;
- purposes related to operating and maintaining FoodTrader (the online system and database), security and testing;
- purposes connected with the operation, administration, development or enhancement of this website;
- addressing local public health issues or needs;
- enhancing opportunities to protect public health; and
- any other purposes required or authorised by law.
For the purposes above, FoodTrader may disclose information to the Department, the relevant council, and other relevant stakeholders.
De-identified information may be used for public reporting purposes or as otherwise authorised or required by law.
What information is required by FoodTrader?
The Food Act requires that any premises from which a food business operates be registered with, or notified to, the relevant council by the proprietor. If you operate a food business from a premises, whether temporary, mobile, or fixed, relevant information about the business must be assessed by the principal council, and available to councils for them to use if you operate in their municipality or require assistance. Registrations or notifications provide information about you and your business and premises to enable these statutory requirements to be met. Whether you apply online via this website or complete a hard copy application, you must provide this information if you want to operate a food premises. You will also be required to sign a declaration that the information you have provided is true and complete before you lodge your registration/notification.
Councils may elect to use FoodTrader to collect and use other information required for registrations under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act, addressing local public health issues and needs, or enhancing opportunities to protect public health.
What are the main consequences for you if all or part of the information is not provided?
Failing to provide all or part of the information via FoodTrader may result in delays in complying with your registration and other obligations under the Food Act, the Public Health and Wellbeing Act, or other relevant laws. Depending on the arrangements and practices of your relevant council, it may also result in ultimately failing to comply with those obligations.
How is personal information stored and protected in FoodTrader?
However, you should be aware that there are risks in transmitting information across the internet. So while FoodTrader strives to protect such information, the security of any information transmitted online cannot be guaranteed and individuals do so at their own risk. Once any personal information enters FoodTrader, reasonable steps will be taken to protect that information from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification and disclosure.
Additional steps are taken to protect the security of information, with at least 128-bit SSL encryption. Before using these facilities, you should ensure that you are using a web browser that supports 128-bit encryption or 256-bit encryption. In many web browsers, you can confirm that your session is encrypted by the appearance of a locked padlock symbol located in the browser status bar at the foot of the browser.
FoodTrader uses two data centres located in Sydney and Melbourne. This is to support hosting of Australian customer data while maintaining data sovereignty. FoodTrader data is never moved outside of these data centres to foreign data centres. These data centres are managed in compliance with information security regulations in accordance with Australian government standards.
How long is personal information kept in FoodTrader?
Information is retained in FoodTrader where authorised or required under the Public Records Act 1973 (Vic).
How can I get access to personal information about me on held in FoodTrader?
You have a right to seek access to information about you held on FoodTrader. To request access to such information, contact your principal council. This will be the council that you have applied to, or which has registered or accepted a notification of your food premises.
Where appropriate, you should be able to request access to your personal information directly from your principal council, without the need to make a formal application under the Freedom of Information Act 1982. However, there are situations where it will not be appropriate to provide direct access to information, and you will be required to make an FOI application to that council. This may be the case where, for example, providing direct access would compromise the privacy of another person.
How do I contact FoodTrader?
If you have a question about concerns regarding your own application or status on FoodTrader, or about access or correction of your personal information, contact your principal council.
If you have a question about FoodTrader’s management of your personal information, contact:
FoodTrader System Administrator
Food Safety Unit
Health Protection Branch
Department of Health
Postal Address: GPO BOX 4057, MELBOURNE, VIC 3001
Street Address: 50 Lonsdale Street, MELBOURNE, VIC 3000
Phone: 1300 364 352 (Food Safety Hotline)
Version 1, February 2023