Fixed premises food business

A fixed premises, for a food business, means a building or other structure, or part of a building or other structure, that has a permanent address.

Examples could include:

  • Food manufacturers (e.g. cannery, production of packaged ice)
  • Restaurants and cafes
  • Delicatessens
  • Takeaway food shops
  • Motels/Hotels providing meals with accommodation
  • Bakeries
  • Home-based businesses

What are the fit out and design requirements?

The design and construction of food premises, fixtures, fittings and equipment must minimise opportunities for food contamination.

Refer to council's guide for the Design, Construction and Fit Out of a Food Premises (PDF 276 KB).

This guide will assist in you with regard to submission of a food licence application and help you meet the requirements of the Food Safety Standards should be used when developing floor plans for the kitchen.

The guide applies to Home-based businesses as well.

What is a home-based food business?

Starting a food business from home can be a convenient way to launch a small business.

There are restrictions on home-based food business licences:

Home-based – Type 1

  • The use of a home kitchen to produce cakes, snacks, jams, chutneys and non-potentially hazardous food.

Temporary Food - Type 3

  • An annual Temporary Food Licence which involves the sale of unpackaged potentially hazardous foods at markets, festivals, events and temporary situations.

To take advantage of these opportunities, you need to understand the fit-out requirements for home-based food businesses. For example, as a general guide, your business will need:

  • Separation of food business activities from the household food preparation, which usually means having a separate kitchen
  • Commercial-grade surfaces and appliances
  • A way to be secured from children and pets.
  • Mackay Regional Council will only consider applications for home-based food businesses if the nature of the food being prepared and handled is low-risk. This includes baked goods such as cakes and cupcakes and other prescribed foods that are not potentially hazardous. Applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the individual risks of the proposal.

Other options

If a fixed or home-based food business is not an option, you could also consider:

  • Subleasing an approved existing commercial kitchen such as a restaurant, meals on wheels or private school tuck shop and applying for your own food licence. You will need a letter of permission from the primary licensee and must establish rosters and separate storage areas for your goods. Subleasing a public-school tuck shop is not as straightforward as they are exempt from food licences as a government organisation, but subleases are not exempt and require the full application process for a new food manufacturing or catering facility.
  • Applying for a temporary food stall licence and do all the preparation and food cooking at the market stall rather than making changes to your home.

How to apply

For more information about Fixed Food Premises and requirements, contact council's Health and Regulatory Services to speak with an Environmental Health Officer on 1300 MACKAY (622 529) or email

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