Steps for National Programme 2
National Programme 2 sets the food safety rules for low-risk businesses. Follow the steps to comply with the law and sell food that won't make people sick.
Overview of what do you need to do
To bring your business under National Programme 2 (NP2), you need to:
- make safe food – and keep some records to show how you do this
- register your business
- be officially checked, or verified.
You can confirm if NP2 is right for you in Step 1 on this page.
When you need to register under NP2
If your business starts on or after 1 March 2016, you must register under the Food Act 2014 before you open.
If you're an existing business, see the transition timetable for when you need to register.
Follow these steps for NP2
National programme 2 is for low-risk food businesses. This includes:
- those providing food services to pre-school children (including children under 5 years) in a centre-based setting
- retailers of manufacturer-packaged chilled and frozen food (excluding ice cream and iced confectionery – they are under National Programme 1)
- processors of nuts or seeds.
It also applies to manufacturers of:
- shelf-stable grain-based products (for example biscuits or crackers)
- crisps, popcorn, pretzels, soy crisps or similar snack products
- bread (bakeries that make only bread)
- dried or dehydrated fruit or vegetables
- water-based products including ice, iced confectionery (ice blocks) and desserts
- shelf-stable condiments (including sauces, spreads and preserves)
- frozen fruit and vegetables.
If you do any food activities other than those listed, you might need to operate under a different national programme or a food control plan.
MPI has developed a tool—Where Do I Fit?—to help you work out which plan or programme applies to you.
If you complete the tool but are still unsure what to do, you can:
- email firstname.lastname@example.org
- contact your local council.
To bring your business under National Programme 2 you need to:
- check what you need to do to make safe food
- be prepared to tell an official (a food safety verifier) how you make safe food
- keep some written records to show what you do about important food safety issues.
MPI has developed a guide for making safe food and keeping written records.
Download the food safety guide for national programmes [PDF, 163 KB]
MPI has developed guidance for early learning services:
What is verification?
Verifiers are professionals who will visit your business to check you are selling safe and suitable food. They could be from your local council or an independent agency.
Find a verifier before you register
Before you register, you need to choose a verifier. Ask them for confirmation that they will verify your business and include this in your registration application.
Arrange a verifier
- Check the verifier map to find a verifier who covers your district. Make sure they verify NP2 businesses.
You can also find a verifier on our registers.
- Contact the verifier to check if they can do your verification within your timeframe and ask how much they will charge.
- It's a good idea to ask for quotes from more than one verifier.
- When you have chosen who you want, ask them for a letter to confirm they will verify you.
- Include the letter with your application to get registered.
When to get verified
Your first verification happens after you are registered.
If you are a new business, you must arrange for your verifier to visit within 6 weeks of becoming registered. If you are an existing business, your verifier must visit within a year of your registration.
Apply to extend your verification timeframe
In some circumstances, new businesses can apply to extend the date when their verification is due.
You can apply if:
- you haven't already started trading by the due date for verification
- something major or unplanned happens that means you or your business aren't able to be verified.
You need to email or write to your registration authority (either your council or MPI), 2 weeks before verification is due.
The verification date may be extended by up to 6 weeks. The registration authority must either grant or decline your request at least 5 working days before verification is due.
How much will verification cost?
Councils and independent verifiers set their own fees. Prices range from $115 to $210 an hour plus travel fees. The time it takes to verify you will depend on the complexity of your business and how well you are managing food safety.
Verifiers are often able to share travel costs between businesses in the same area. Check this with the verifier.
Help to find a verifier
If you are unable to find a verifier from the map or lists, or the price quotes seem unreasonable, email email@example.com
Registering with your council
You must register as a food business with your local council if your business:
- is based in one council district
- is a mobile business (such as a market stall or a food truck) or an online business – in which case you must register with the local council where your business is based (for example, where you live).
To register with your council you will need to:
- get a letter from a verifier or auditor to say that they will verify you (see Step 3)
- contact your local council and ask for a registration form
- complete any other requirements set by the council
- complete a scope of operations form
- return all documents to your local council.
Download the scope of operations form [PDF, 597 KB]
Registering with MPI
If you operate from fixed places (shops or packing houses) in more than one council area, you have a choice.
You can either:
- register each place separately with each local council
- register them all with MPI.
To register your multi-site business with MPI you will need:
- a letter from a verifier or auditor to say that they will verify you (see Step 3)
- a copy of the Companies Act registration certificates for any parts of your business that are limited liability companies
- a completed registration form
- to pay to register your business – the application fee is detailed on the registration form
- a completed scope of operation form specific to your type of business.
On the registration form include:
- address details for all the places where you make or sell food.
- if you're registering with MPI then you must be operating a food business from more than one address. You will need to include each address on your registration form.
- this form is only for businesses registering with MPI. If you're registering with your council, contact them for a different registration form.
On the scope of operations form include:
- a description of exactly what your business does
- the Food Act sectors you operate in – for example, retail, food service, manufacturing
- your products – the type of food you make or sell
- processes – how you make your food, for example, is it reheated, fermented, or sterilised?
- trading operations – how and where you sell your products
- the sections that apply to your business and tick boxes for all the things that you do.
Download the scope of operations form [PDF, 597 KB]
To register with MPI send your completed forms and application to:
- or post to:
Food Act registrations
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Arrange a verifier visit
Contact your verifier (see Step 3) and arrange a time for them to verify your business.
Timeframe for checks
If you are a new business, your verifier must visit within a month of registering. If you are an existing business, your verifier must visit within a year of registering.
Frequency of visits
How often you are checked will depend on how successfully you are managing food safety. This could be as little as once every 3 years if you are managing food safety well.
What a verifier does
The verifier will check you are making safe food and keeping records. They will give feedback on areas that need improvement.
Who to contact
If you have questions about National Programme 2, email firstname.lastname@example.org.