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Food safety

Businesses selling and trading in food

All businesses selling and trading in food more than once a year must be registered

This is a requirement of the Food Act 2014 (The Act) which came into force on 1 March 2016.  There is a three year transition period to March 2019 for existing businesses operating under the Food Act 1981 and Food Hygiene Regulations 1974.

Your business will operate under one of the following:

  • Template Food Control Plan - people who manufacture and prepare food 
  • National Programme 3, e.g. Retailers that handle food but do not prepare it such as service stations. 
  • National Programme 2, e.g. Food service provider to preschool children.
  • National Programme 1, e.g. coffee carts 
  • Custom Food Control Plan - Register with Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) not Council.
How to apply

If you are a new food business or are a current business who is transitioning to the Food Act 2014; you need to complete an application form for registration and scope of operations document and submit these to Council. Council or MPI is the only place you can register your plan or Programme.

Application for registration - For new and renewed Food Control Plans & National Programmes [PDF, 97 KB] pdf.gif

Scope of Operations of Food Business pdf.gif

How often to register

If you operate under a template Food Control Plan, then you will need to register each year on the anniversary of the registration expiry. However if you operate under a National Programme then you only need register every two (2) years. There is a fee for registration. 

How often your food premises Food control plan or National Programme is verified (audited) depends on the food you sell and how well you manage food safety. For example a Food Control Plan is verified annually but that time frame could be increased to 18 months or decreased to 9 or 6 months. A National Programme 3 for example is normally verified every 2 years. There is a separate fee based on an hourly rate.

You may choose an independent verifier if you do not wish to use a Council verifier to carry out the verification.

Fees and charges

View the fees and charges for food premises

Food stalls - mobile shops

If you want to sell food from a stall or mobile shop(hawker) then you will also need to talk to Council about getting a licence to trade in a public space.

Application to trade in a public place - Application for Hawkers / Itinerant Traders / Stall Licence [PDF, 76 KB] pdf.gif

Non-profit organisations selling food

Non-profit organisations selling food less than 20 times per year are not required to register and complete paper work. For example a school baking cakes for a cake stall at a gala event does not need to fill out any forms and register as long as they keep below the 20 events per year. Exceeding the 20 events per year is considered to be a commercial operation and they would need to register with Council.

Council however would still like organisers of events to advise their non-profit organisations to seek advice from Council (by way of pamphlets handouts) and the Ministry for Primary Industries web site www.mpi.govt.nz on how to handle and prepare safe food on the day.

Useful Information

 For further help email Ministry for Primary Industries info@mpi.govt.nz

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