Food business registration exemptions for charities and community events

Northern Territory charities and volunteer organisations are exempt from some food business regulations when selling or preparing food.

Providing free food

You do not have to follow commercial food business regulations when providing free food.

Examples of this kind of food include:

  • a free sausage sizzle for junior soccer players
  • or a free end of season barbecue for surf lifesavers.

Selling food at a fundraising event

You are not required to register as a food business to sell food at a fundraising event provided that:

  • the food does not pose a health risk
  • the food is eaten immediately after thorough cooking. 

This includes fundraising events such as:

  • a sausage sizzle to raise funds for a sports club
  • a lamington drive to raise money for the victims of a natural disaster
  • selling chocolates to raise money for the Red Cross
  • school fetes where the proceeds are donated to a charitable organisation
  • school fundraisers where the money stays with the school to purchase equipment, library books etc.

Training for people who prepare food

People who prepare food that will be sold by charities do not need formal skills or knowledge, provided that:

  • the food does not pose a health risk
  • the food is eaten immediately after thorough cooking.

When to register as a food business

You may need to register as a food business if you sell:

  • potentially hazardous food
  • food that is not cooked thoroughly before consumption.

Register or renew a food business.

What are potentially hazardous foods

  • large amounts of meat-based food that has been pre-cooked
  • ready to eat food that would normally be refrigerated to keep it safe (i.e raw shellfish, cooked meats or cooked rice)
  • dairy or egg based desserts.

For more information contact Environmental Health.

Last updated: 17 October 2017