Public Health & Safety

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Food Safety


Great Lakes Council carries out a wide range of inspections to ensure food sold to the public is safe to eat. The aims of our inspections are to:

  • make sure food is made and handled hygienically and will be safe to eat;
  • minimise the risk of food poisoning;
  • make sure staff who prepare, handle and sell food have the right skills and knowledge of food safety and hygiene to prevent food borne illness;
  • assess the business premises and the condition of equipment and appliances to ensure compliance with relevant requirements;
  • look at personal hygiene practices.
Scores on Doors

Great Lakes Council and the NSW Food Authority have joined forces to start the NSW Scores on Doors program. The hygiene rating program will help consumers make informed choices on where to eat or shop for food.

Council's Environmental Heath Officers already undertake food inspections to ensure compliance and, as routine inspections are completed, eligible food premises receive a hygiene and food safety rating along with a green and purple display certificate giving a 3, 4, or 5 star rating. These ratings give you an idea of what's going on in the kitchen, or behind closed doors.

The Scores on Doors program is relatively new to the area.  Scores on Doors ratings recognise businesses with the highest food safety standards and also encourages others to improve.   

So, keep an eye out for the green and purple certificates in the Great Lakes and enjoy dining with confidence.

For further information on the Scores on Doors program, please visit the NSW Food Authority website.

Buying a Food Business?

If you are considering buying an existing food business, we recommend you get a pre-purchase inspection.

For more information, the NSW Food Authority website is the best place to go.

Temporary Food Stalls

You will need to supply Council with a notification for a temporary food stall form. This can be downloaded below.

Stall set-up and design must comply with NSW Guidelines for Temporary Food Events, and you will need to attach a drawn plan of the stall and specify how food products & preparation will be protected.

Any food handlers must have appropriate training skills and knowledge in food safety as required. You will need to supply us with copies of the relevant certification with the completed form.

Completed forms should be submitted at a MidCoast Council office or emailed to 

Public Swimming Pools

Public pools and spas can represent a major public health risk if not constructed, maintained or managed correctly. It's important to have access to current and reliable information. Both drowning and microbial infections are of major concern.

 If you have a pool or spa which is available for public use, or is used by staff, either free of charge or by payment, then it is subject to legislation. Visit the NSW Health website for further detailed information and a clear definition of what constitutes a "public" pool and spa.

Hairdressing Salons and Barber Shops

All hairdressing salons and barber shops must be registered with their local council. Council's Environmental Health Officers are also empowered to carry out inspections on these businesses.

Hygiene standards need to be maintained and premises need to be suitably equipped. For full information on the relevant guidelines, you should visit the NSW Health Department page on Hairdressing and Barbers. The aims of Public Health Act 2010 and Public Health Regulation 2012 are to minimise the risk of diseases being transmitted and to promote safe work environments.

Skin Penetration Businesses

This term applies to any business that uses needles that puncture the skin. It includes tattoo parlours, acupuncture, beauty treatments and piercing.

Operators of these businesses must notify Council of their names, the address of any premises where procedures involving skin penetration take place, and exactly what procedures are carried out. You can use the NSW Health form available here.

NSW Health has a page dedicated to the Skin Penetration Industry that includes relevant factsheets based on the Public Health (Skin Penetration) Regulation 2000.

Cooling Towers and Regulated Systems

There is a potential health risk with any open water cooling system. Bacteria can breed in the water of a cooling system, with hazardous consequences.

Legal requirements for water cooling systems are available in the Public Health Act 2010, Public Health Regulation 2012 and also in the Australian Standards AS3666 Parts 1 to 3.

Fact sheets are available on the following subjects:

Drinking Water Rain Water Tanks

If you operate a business that uses rainwater for food preparation or as drinking water that can be consumed by the public, you need to ensure that maintenance and testing requirements are met.

The storage and collection of rainwater must be through a well maintained tank and roof catchment system.

An unusual taste or smell may indicate the water is not suitable for drinking. The main causes of rainwater pollution include:

  • Dead animals or animal droppings;
  • Sediment, slime or algae in tank or pipes;
  • Decaying vegetation in guttering;
  • Pollen or dangerous plant material;
  • Smoke, ash or traffic emissions;
  • Pesticides;
  • Roof material - including asbestos, lead, treated timber and paint.

For further information regarding the use of rainwater tanks see:

Fact Sheet Rainwater Tanks(PDF, 37KB)                         NSW Health Website