Top 5 food safety factors

The new Food Act is all about managing risk. To help you work out what to focus on, MPI has identified the top 5 food safety factors for different types of businesses.


Focus on minimising your biggest risks

Food businesses do different things, so what's most important when it comes to food safety isn't always the same.

We've identified the top 5 food safety measures you need to focus on for your type of business. These aren't all you need to do to comply with the law – but they are the things that your verifier will pay most attention to.

Below are the top 5 for businesses that need to move to the new Food Act in the first year. More food sectors will be added soon.

Food service businesses like restaurants and cafes

Handwashing graphic
  1. Get the right training – know how to keep food safe.
  2. Clean and sanitise – to stop germs spreading.
  3. Cook and store food at the right temperature.
  4. Keep cooked, raw and allergen food separate.
  5. Wash your hands properly.

Food service businesses include restaurants, cafes, caterers, food trucks, and other organisations that make and serve food, like schools, hospitals or rest homes.

Find out more about the top 5 – download the poster [PDF, 2 MB]

Early childhood education services

Bacteria can survive on average 20 minutes to 2 hours on hard surfaces
  1. Get the right training – know how to keep food safe.
  2. Clean and sanitise – to stop germs spreading.
  3. Cook and store food at the right temperature.
  4. Keep cooked, raw and allergen food separate.
  5. Wash your hands properly.

These food safety factors are for early learning centres, kindergartens or kōhanga reo that make and serve food.

Find out more about the top 5 – download the poster [PDF, 2 MB]

Manufacturers of non-shelf-stable sauces, spreads, dips, and soups

Stop bugs increasing: cold, make acidic, salts, sugars, preservatives
  1. Get the right training – know how to keep food safe.
  2. Clean and sanitise – to stop germs spreading.
  3. Cook and store food at the right temperature.
  4. Have controls in place to stop bugs growing.
  5. Source safe ingredients – use trusted suppliers.

This top 5 list is for manufacturers who make products like hummus, fresh soup, or pasta sauce that isn't shelf-stable and needs to be kept cold.

Find out more about the top 5 – download the poster [PDF, 2.1 MB]

Manufacturers of ready-to-eat salads

E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria in raw salad vegetables
  1. Get the right training – know how to keep food safe.
  2. Wash product – it reduces bugs and chemicals.
  3. Cook and store food at the right temperature.
  4. Keep cooked, raw and allergen food separate.
  5. Source safe ingredients – use trusted suppliers.

These are the top food safety factors for making packaged salads, including fruit and vegetable salads and those with additional ingredients, like meat or cheese.

Find out more about the top 5 – download the poster [PDF, 2.2 MB]

Manufacturers of food for vulnerable people

Pregnant women are 20 times more likely to get Listeria.
  1. Get the right training – know how to keep food safe.
  2. Control Listeria – it can be deadly for vulnerable people.
  3. Cook and store food at the right temperature.
  4. Keep cooked, raw and allergen food separate.
  5. Be hygienic – wash your hands and don't go to work sick.

These factors apply to those who manufacture packaged meals or foods for babies, frail, elderly people, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems.

Find out more about the top 5 – download the poster [PDF, 2.5 MB]

Processors of nuts, seeds and coffee

Number of cases of Salmonella in peanut butter in the USA
  1. Get the right training – know how to keep food safe.
  2. Clean and sanitise – bugs are everywhere.
  3. Storage – store correctly to prevent bugs.
  4. Keep foreign matter (like glass) out of your products.
  5. Source safe ingredients – use trusted suppliers.

This list is for businesses that roast coffee beans, nuts or seeds, coat nuts, or make processed nut or seed bars.

Find out more about the top 5 – download the poster [PDF, 2 MB]

Most foodborne disease is caused by poor hygienic practices and improper handling of food.

— World Health Organization

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