The laws that cover food safety are the Food Act 2014 and the Food Regulations 2015. The Act commenced on 1 March 2016, when it introduced a 3-year transition period for existing food businesses currently operating under the Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 to transition to the new Act.
Under the Act, food businesses are required to be operating under either a food control plan or one of 3 levels of national programmes depending on the food sector that a food business belongs to. All food businesses that belong to the food service sector and that have an on-licence for the sale of alcohol have already transitioned (during the first year of transition).
New food businesses
New food businesses are required to operate under the Act from day one. You will need to register a food control plan or a national programme, depending on the food sector your business belongs to. See below for further information and application documentation.
Existing food businesses
We are currently in the second year of transition, which commenced on 1 July 2017 and is due to close on 30 June 2018. During this 1-year period all existing food businesses that are currently operating under the Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 and that belong to one of the following sectors are required to transition to the new Act (the sectors listed are the more common ones, view the MPI website to see more):
- Food service sector (no on-licence) – e.g. cafes, takeaways, caterers, accommodation businesses, hospitals, residential care and educational facilities, and prisons
- · Food retailers who prepare or manufacture and sell food – including retail butchers, fishmongers, delis, and supermarkets
- Retailers who handle food (but do not prepare or manufacture food)
- Retailers of manufacturer-packaged chilled and frozen food (excluding ice cream and iced confectionery
- Retailers of hot beverages and shelf-stable manufacturer-packaged foods only
- Transporters or distributors of food products
- Retailers of manufacturer-packaged ice cream and iced confectionery.
If your food business belongs to one of the above sectors then you need to apply for registration of the appropriate risk based measure before 31 March 2018, and to be operating under that measure by 30 June 2018. The Act requires any food business that is not operating under a registered risk-based measure by 30 June 2018 must stop operating as a food business. There are financial penalties for failing to do this.
A very useful tool for setting up a template food control plan or national programme is found on the Ministry for Primary Industries website. It is called the 'Where Do I Fit?' tool. Use this to set up and print your personalised food control plan or national programme and to produce a completed scope of operations document (which is part of the application documentation).
If you are a new food business or are an existing business transitioning to the Food Act 2014, you need to complete an application form and a scope of operations document and submit these to council.
If you have just one site to register:
If you have more than one site to register under the one application: