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Charities, groups and volunteers

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The NSW Food Authority and NSW Government recognise the valuable work conducted by charities, organisations and volunteers when selling or donating food for charitable purposes. Examples include:

  • free sausage-sizzles for junior soccer players
  • school fetes
  • lamington drives to raise money for the victims of a natural disaster
  • selling chocolates to raise money for the Red Cross
  • making food for volunteer fire fighters during a bushfire.

Notification

Charities, groups and volunteers do not need a food business licence nor do they need to notify food authorities of their food activities provided the food:

  • does not need to be kept hot or refrigerated to keep it safe
  • would need to be kept under temperature control, but will be eaten immediately after thorough cooking, such as at a sausage sizzle.

Organisations and groups selling food for community or charitable purposes will need to notify their local council of their business details if the food:  

  • does need to be kept under temperature control to keep it safe, and  
  • will not be consumed immediately after thorough cooking. 

Notification is different for each council. It may involve applying for a service, permit or approval, or completing a food business notification form. Checking the local council’s website is a good place to start.  

Food Safety Supervisor

Charities, groups and volunteers do not need to appoint a Food Safety Supervisor if the handling or sale of food is for the purpose of raising funds solely for community or charitable causes. 

Food safety control

Under the Food Standards Code and Food Act 2003, any group or individual that sells food (whether for charity or not) must follow good hygiene and food handling practices, including proper construction and maintenance of the food premises, so that food being served is as safe as possible. The requirements include areas such as:   

  • temperature control   
  • protecting food from contaminants  
  • hand washing   
  • cleaning and sanitising  
  • pest control.  

Factsheets on these topics are available from our resources centre

Potentially hazardous foods that could pose a health risk include:

  • large quantities of meat-based food that will be stored and transported prior to reheating and serving
  • ready-to-eat foods that need to be refrigerated to keep them safe, such as raw shellfish, cooked meats and seafood, or cooked rice
  • dairy or egg based desserts.

Inspections

Inspections are not required for an organisation selling food for community or charitable purposes provided the food:

  • does not need to be kept hot or refrigerated to keep it safe
  • would need to be kept under temperature control, but will be eaten immediately after thorough cooking, such as at a sausage sizzle.

Skills and knowledge

People who are preparing food for sale to raise money for charitable purposes do not require formal cooking or food handling skills, provided the food is eaten immediately after thorough cooking and does not pose a possible health risk.

They should have practical skills and knowledge appropriate to the type of food they are preparing to protect public health.

The Food Authority’s free Food Handler Basics training is available to help volunteers improve their food safety knowledge. 

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