In New Zealand we have numerous pieces of legislation that link together to provide the insurance that foods available to New Zealand consumers and overseas importers of our food stuffs are guaranteed safe product.
The Food Act 2014 came into force on 1 March 2016. The Act applies to all new food businesses.
New food safety measures
The Act brings in the following new food safety measures:
1. Food Control Plans
A food control plan sets out the steps a business making or selling higher-risk foods needs to take to make safe food. It is used to identify food safety risks, and to show how they're being managed. Further information on FCPs can be found on the Ministry of Primary Industries website.
2. National Programmes
A national programme is the way that lower-risk food businesses operate under the Food Act 2014. For further information on National Programmes see the Ministry of Primary Industries website.
Verification of Food Control Plans or National Programmes
Your business will need to be verified (audited) when you first register it. For information on the frequency of subsequent verifications required for food businesses, please contact an Environmental Health Officer at the Napier City Council.
Currently Council is not providing a verification service for businesses on National Programmes. Therefore you will need to find a private auditor and arrange to have verifications from them. You will need to specify who your auditor is when you register your business. View a list of approved auditors on the Ministry of Primary Industries website.
Where does your business fit in the new food regime?
To help you find out what food safety measure your business needs to operate under, the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) have developed a “where do I fit tool?” which can be viewed on the Ministry of Primary Industries website.
Businesses currently operating under the Food Hygiene Regulations 1974
Existing businesses will transition from the old Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 over the next three years. Some food businesses such as restaurants holding an alcohol licence must transition during the first year. See the Transition Timetable on the Ministry of Primary Industries website for more information.
At the end of the three-year transition period the Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 will be revoked.
Registering your business
An application form for a Food Control Plan or National Programme is available from Napier City Council reception, first floor, Civic Building, Hastings Street, Napier, or you can download the forms from the Ministry of Primary Industries website.
Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code
The Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code took full effect in Australia and New Zealand on 20th December 2002.
Parts of the Code are excluded from applying in New Zealand, including:
- Volume 2
- Standard 1.1A.3 (2) Country of Origin Labelling
- Standard 1.4.2 Maximum Residue Limits
- Standard 1.6.2 Processing Requirements
- Standard 2.1.1 (4)(2) Thiamine in Bread
- Standard 2.4.2 (2)(3) Vitamin D in Margarine
- Chapter 3 Food Safety Requirements
The Health Act 1956 s. 117 (1) (w) requires the production of safe food for sale or supply to the public
The Building Act 2004 includes a code for best practicable solutions for design and construction of food premises to ensure safe food production
Many Local Authorities also have Bylaws relating to food safety. For example, Napier City Council and Hastings District Council (among others) have bylaws requiring food handlers to hold training qualifications in food safety. These will vary between Local Authorities. Make sure you know what is required in the area you work.
Food safety requirements in New Zealand are currently directly related to the Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 as they include instruction of which premises are required to be registered and how they and the food handling must be conducted.