Businesses that must register by 31 March 2017

The deadline for some food businesses to apply to register under the new Food Act is 31 March 2017. Find out if you need to bring your business under the Food Act by this date.


Businesses that need to change to the new rules first

Any new food business should register under the Food Act straight away, but existing food businesses are changing over to the new rules in stages. If your business is in the categories on this page, you need to apply to register under the Food Act by 31 March 2017.

Food service businesses with an alcohol licence

These businesses include restaurants, cafes, caterers, bars, and other organisations that make and serve food, like rest homes. Businesses with an alcohol licence need to register their business by 31 March 2017. Those without an alcohol licence have until the following year (31 March 2018). To register you'll need to complete a food control plan (FCP). FCPs are used to manage food safety. Most businesses can use a template FCP created by MPI, and register their business with their local council.

Early childhood education centres that make food

Early childhood education centres and kōhanga reo that cook meals, or prepare food like sandwiches or salads, should register under a national programme 2. Most will register with their local council. Home-based services and centres that only serve low-risk snacks don’t need to register.

Processors of nuts and seeds

These include businesses that roast coffee beans, roast, salt or coat nuts or seeds, or make products like nut bars or trail mix. Most businesses need to register with their local council and follow a national programme 2.

Manufacturers of food for vulnerable people and some ready to eat food

If you make the following types of food you will need to register by 31 March 2017:

  • food for vulnerable people (for example, packaged food for elderly people or baby food)
  • sauces, spreads, dips, soups, or broths that need to be kept cold (non-shelf stable)
  • ready to eat salads.

Manufacturers of higher-risk foods like these need to create a custom food control plan, and register the plan and the business with MPI. Any other food they make or sell can be included in the plan.

Where does your business fit?

If you’re not sure how the rules apply to you, or you do more than one food activity, use our tool to check where you fit with the Food Act.

Transition timetable

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