Warning to small food retailer businesses
On 1 July, 2016, the Water Corporation changed the way it manages fines and penalties for non-compliance with the installation or upgrading of grease arrestors.
All retail food businesses including cafes and restaurants must hold a current trade waste permit and comply with all permit conditions.
Business owners who apply for a trade waste permit and are required to install or upgrade their grease arrestor will have 12 months to comply. If they have not complied, within the first 90 days, they will be subject to a daily charge of up to $22.39 per trading day for the remainder of the 12 month period. After that time, if they still have not complied, they may be subject to prosecution, additional fines of up to $50,000, $2,000 a day and/or disconnection from the Water Corporation’s wastewater system.
Grease arrestors are important because they reduce the amount of fats, oils, grease and solids entering the wastewater system.
The new non-compliance management process will be undertaken in stages, but your first priority should be to check whether you have a current trade waste permit and confirm that it has been issued to your business, not the previous operator.
This is an important issue for all businesses in the retail food industry and your attention to the details will ensure you do not incur large fines for non-compliance.
If you are looking to buy a retail food business, ensure you ask the current owner to provide you with their valid trade waste permit and confirm that all conditions of the permit are currently being met.