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Roasting Food Health & Safety Conditions

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  • Roasting Food Health & Safety Conditions

    Hi there,

    I just wanted to clarify or create some discussion on something that I was scratching my head about. I have a 1kg roaster that I use to roast for myself and friends on, it is currently located in my factory in Melbourne, where I have a little room where I do my roasting out of. The other day our next door neighbour visited to inspect what this smell was that he was always smelling in the air after hours because that's when I usually roast. My next door neighbour produces large quantities of fresh honey (Yuummmmmmmmm) and during the discussion of the fresh coffee I just roasted he queried the Food Health & Safety regulation that would be required for any normal coffee roaster.

    This is where I began to scratch my head, I responded saying I'm actually not quite sure because I've been to dozens and dozens of cafes around Melbourne, even Interstate and also visited numerous roasteries and have never really seen the whole Stainless Steel bench top arrangements or anything you'd see in a kitchen or the like. In fact it's more normal to see quite rugged looking arrangements like a plywood bench top that's sitting on a few cinderblocks with a hipster style guy packing beans on it. Considering coffee is sold in extremely high quantities daily I would have thought there would be some sort of code to follow but even Google can't answer any questions. I told him I've seen endless roasters in the back of shops, small factories right next to roller doors, in cafes besides patrons sitting areas, little plywood constructed rooms in the corner of a factory floor, not to mention numerous roasters who work out of garages or sheds.

    Could someone shed some light on this? Is there actually a code to follow or is there minimal to no rules required.

    It's a discussion I've never seen amongst this forum so I thought maybe it's worth a try.
    Last edited by brendogs; 24 February 2015, 08:49 AM. Reason: Spelling

  • #2
    Check your local council regulations as it does involve all sorts of associated red tape and bullshit.
    You will find they generally only act on a complaint,but when they run a fine tooth comb over your operation it can create a headache or two.
    Ignorance is bliss.........untill the knock on the door.


    • #3
      It'll vary council to council and state to state.

      I am not aware of any specific guidelines for coffee roasters other than some councils requiring afterburners, (but they are mostly CBD/ urban) and food handling certs.

      I had done an extensive course involving food handling in the past ( wine industry ) that satisfied my council.

      Generally they are classified as low risk food prep businesses and therefore don't come under a lot of scrutiny.

      In my shire I am a class 3 Food Production business and have one inspection per year.

      If you are selling the product there has to be hot water hand washing facilities available. Other than that

      it is pretty much open to the interpretation of the Health Act by the individual inspector who comes to your site.

      They don't write many notes in their report other than things like plastic bucket/ grain pro green bean storage ( tick), immediate packaging ( tick)

      plaster walls ( tick)..... my health inspectors don't like dusty walls/floors, it seems.

      I have stainless steel and glass bench tops so I don't have to worry about that. My roastery is also the only one my inspector

      has on her rounds, so there's nothing for her to compare. Give (good) coffee to your neighbours or sell at a discount and you'll keep them onside.
      Last edited by chokkidog; 25 February 2015, 12:02 AM.


      • #4
        As Chokki said it does vary state to state and council to council. A class 3 classification for most councils in Victoria anyway are for the plain reason that you are taking the coffee, roasting it and handling that food item to re pack. If you bought already roasted coffee that was already packed to sell you would come under a Class 4 classification. As you have not had to handle the food itself. Coffee isn't seen as a high risk food product however like any food which is low risk like coffee, once you have to handle it to repack it for sale you may find you wont get yourself anything lower than a class 3.

        The good thing about a class 4 unlike anything 3 and up you wont need a routine inspection for..

        All this is based on what i have found out from numerous councils.. Not saying its right for all


        • #5
          does anyone have any experience with this in queensland?