Food Safety & Public Health

Cowra Council is responsible for ensuring that all food outlets, pools and spas and other registered public premises comply with relevant laws that are designed  to ensure health and safety standards are upheld at all times.

Cowra Council is also responsible for a number of core services that promote the importance of public health in the community.

To find out further information about Council’s role in food safety and public health, please explore the FAQ’s below:

Food Safety FAQs

Council is responsible for inspecting the following types of premises annually:

  • Food outlets
  • Hairdressing premises
  • Beauty salons
  • Skin penetration premises, and
  • Public swimming pools

A food premise is defined as any place where food is handled, stored or prepared for consumption by the general public. This would generally include: 

  • Food shops
  • Street vending vehicles
  • Cake stalls
  • Fetes and street stalls
  • Home catering businesses
  • Mobile food vans.
The NSW Food Authority is the government organisation that helps ensure food in NSW is safe and correctly labelled. The NSW Food Authority website contains all of the information that you will need in order to understand what the law requires for food premises.

Generally, the following requirements apply:

  • New food premises or alterations to existing food premises must comply with National Food Safety Standards & Codes and must be fitted and constructed in accordance with relevant Australian Standards.
  • Retail food businesses do not need to hold a licence with the NSW Food Authority.
  • Almost all retail businesses need to notify their business details to Food Safety Authorities (Local Council) to comply with food regulations.
  • Certain hospitality and retail food service sector businesses must also designate a Food Safety Supervisor (FSS) and notify the NSW Food Authority of these details. This applies to businesses serving food that is ready to eat, potentially hazardous and not sold and served in its package (e.g. restaurants, cafes, takeaway shops, bakeries, pubs, clubs and hotels).
  • Most licenced food businesses must implement and maintain a food safety program in accordance with the requirements of the NSW Food Authority. 

If you would like to speak to one of Council’s Environmental Health Officers about food safety or the requirements for your food premises, please call Environmental Services on (02)6340 2040.

Public Health FAQs

Council administers the following public health services within the community:

Skin penetrations register

Public health legislation regulates body decorating and grooming practices carried out by people who are not registered as health professionals. This industry generally includes:

  • Accupuncture
  • Beauty treatments
  • Body, nose and ear piercing
  • Cosmetic enhancements
  • Colonic lavage
  • Tattooing
  • Blood cholerstoral and glucose measurement

Council is requireed to keep a register of all skin penetration premises and administer an annual inspection program to ensure that relevant public health standards are being maintained. 

Cooling towers register

A cooling tower is a device that lowers the temperature of the water or other liquids by the process of evaporative cooling or an evaporative condensor that has an incorporated device containing either a refrigerant or heat exchanger. Legionnaires disease can be associated with contaminated water including cooling tower water systems and spas, with most of Australia’s outbreaks being linked to cooling towers.

Under relevant public health legislation, Council maintains a register of water cooling systems within the Cowra Local Government Area. Property owners with cooling towers must notify Council and install the sytem in accordance with relevant Australian Standards.

Public swimming pools

Council is also responsible for carrying out an annual inspection of public swimming pools, spas and baths to ensure they are complying with statutory requirements to ensure health and safety standards are upheld at all times.

Community Sharps

Council also plays a key role in administering the Cowra Domestic Sharps Management Program. This program is designed to help educate users of community sharps and to eliminate the risk of community sharps being disposed of incorrectly and causing harm to people.

Community Sharps refers to needles, syringes, lancets and similar items which are often used to maintain the health of an individual, a loved one or for animal health care by pet or livestock owners. The Cowra Domestic Sharps Management Program offers free disposal containers to sharps users which can be filled and returned to participating pharmacies for safe disposal.

If you would like further information in relation to any of the public health services provided by Cowra Council, please contact (02)6340 2040.