Food Businesses

This section explains the new Food Act requirements for all food businesses.

The New Food Act 2014

The new Food Act came into force on 1 March 2016. It changed the requirements for all food businesses depending on the risks of the food you handle. Higher-risk businesses will need to operate a Food Control Plan, and lower-risk businesses may come under a National Programme. Some activities are exempt from registering. 

An overview of the new Act can be found on the Ministry for Primary Industries website:

Where do I Fit?

There are now different types of registration that a business might need; Food Control Plan or National Programme Level 3, 2 or 1. To find out which type of registration you will need use the 'Where do I fit?' tool on the Ministry Primary Industries website:

Examples of the Different Types of Registration are:

Food Control Plans Cafes, restaurants, retailers, dairies, butchers, retail bakeries
National Programme Level 3 Brewers and manufacturers of non-alcoholic drinks, retailers that handle food but dont prepare or manufacture food, processors of herbs or spices
National Programme Level 2 Retailers of chilled or frozen food, processors of nuts and seeds, manufacturers of dehydrated fruit
National Programme Level 1 Honey extractors, retailers of hot drinks and packaged foods, retailers of packaged icecream
Exempt activities Charity food stalls up to 20 times a year, accomodation providers up to 10 guests, retailers of shelf stable packaged food, bring a plate food at clubs, motels providing breakfasts

Starting or Taking Over a Food Business After 1 March 2016

If you start a new business or take over an existing food business after the new law has come into force on 1 March 2016, you will need to register and operate under the new law. Follow these steps below:

  1. Use the Where do I Fit? tool on the MPI website to see which type of registration you will need
  2. Read the information on the MPI website about the type of registration you need eg Food Control Plan, National Programme
  3. Fill in the Food Control Plan or compile the records and information you need for the National Programme
  4. Find a third party verifier if you are registering a National Programme
  5. Prepare your premises so that it will meet the Regulations
  6. Apply to register the template Food Control Plan or National Programme and submit the Scope of Operations form:

Transitioning an Existing Food Business to the New Food Act 2014 

If you have a business currently operating under the Food Hygiene Regulations, you will need to transition over to the new Food Act 2014 within the transition period for your sector. You will first need to find out which type of new registration you need, then consult the transition timetable below to see which year you will need to transition. The deadlines are 31 March 2018 or 30 November 2018. To avoid paying additional fees you should transition over to the new type of registration before your exisiting Food Premises Certificate expires during that year.


Food Control Plans

Information for food businesses about Food Control Plans.

National Programmes

Information about National Programmes for food businesses.

Exempt Food Activities

Some activities are exempt from registering. Find out more.


More Information

If you need further assistance please contact an Environmental Health Officer by phone on 03 543 8400 or by email.