Businesses that must register by 31 March 2018
The deadline for some food businesses to be registered under the new Food Act is 31 March 2018. Find out if you need to bring your business under the Food Act by this date.
When businesses need to change
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 soon to make sure you will be registered by the 31 March 2018 deadline.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact your local council. Or you can contact MPI by emailing email@example.com
If you're selling food as part of your school programme or activity, you may need to register under the Food Act. If the food isn't for sale you won't have to register – just make sure the food is safe and suitable.
If you sell food
Common school activities that require registration include when your school tuck shop or canteen:
- makes food like pies, meals, sandwiches or filled rolls and sells them to students. The tuck shop or canteen will need to register and work under a template food control plan.
- reheats and sells pre-packed foods only (like pies, sausage rolls, and pizzas). They will need to register and work under National Programme 3.
The tuck shop or canteen should read the relevant step-by-step process then contact the local council to start the registration process.
For food sold as part of a school fundraising activity:
- Read our fundraising fact sheet [PDF, 617 KB]
If food isn't for sale
You don't need to register if:
- students bring in their own food to eat, or family/whanau/students contribute food that's prepared and served to students for free.
- your school has a breakfast club that serves cereals, toast and spreads, and fresh fruit for free or for a voluntary contribution (such as a koha or a donation).
- students prepare and serve food as part of their curriculum and the food is not sold. Students may occasionally sell the food they have prepared.
If your food activity isn't listed here, email firstname.lastname@example.org
These businesses include restaurants, cafes, caterers, and other organisations that make and serve food including:
- accommodation businesses
- rest homes
- education facilities
To register you'll need to complete a food control plan (FCP). Most businesses can use a template FCP created by MPI, and register their business with their local council.
If you are a food business that prepares or makes food you sell directly to customers, you will need to operate under a food control plan. MPI has developed a template to help.
Examples of this type of business include:
- bakeries making pies, cakes, pastries
- dairies making sandwiches or filled rolls
- fishmongers that fillet whole fish
- butchers that prepare meat and make sausages, hams or ready-to eat small goods
- delicatessens slicing cooked meats or making quiches
- supermarkets with an in-house butchery, bakery or deli
- greengrocers preparing ready-to-eat salads
- food stalls doing the above activities.
If you don't prepare or make food, but you handle food and sell it directly to consumers, you can register under National Programme 3.
Examples of activities under National Programme 3 include:
- taking food out of the original manufacturer's packaging:
- scooping ice cream
- putting bulk food into retail packages
- reheating a pie and putting it in a pie-warmer
- handling and selling unwrapped foods, such as fruit and vegetables.
If you sell pre-packaged foods — prepared and made by other businesses — directly to consumers, register under National Programme 2.
These foods include pre-packaged goods that are:
- chilled – milk, cheese, bacon and ham, ready-meals
- frozen – fish-fingers, peas, hash browns
- shelf-stored goods – tinned food, rice, sugar, tea.
If you don't sell chilled foods, and only sell pre-packaged manufactured frozen desserts, ice creams or ice blocks, register under National Programme 1.
Follow the guidance for National Programme 2 if your bakery only prepares or makes bread products, for example:
- pita bread
- speciality breads (like sourdough, rye or fruit breads)
- pizza bases
- unfilled buns.
If you manufacture baked goods for retail sale by others (including cakes, pies, pastry, and quiches) you'll need to develop your own custom food control plan.
You'll need to develop your own custom food control plan if you manufacture sterilised foods, including food in:
- low-acid canning
- tetrapaks (for example, UHT products).
For low-acid canning you'll also need to follow the set requirements for processing these foods.
Processing requirements for low-acid canning [PDF, 371 KB]
If you make sweets, candy, chocolates, or decorate but don't make cakes, follow the guidance in National Programme 2.
You'll need to develop your own custom food control plan if you make any of the following for sale in New Zealand or Australia:
- ice cream
- cottage cheese
Dairy products such as ice cream and yoghurt made and sold on the premises for immediate consumption fit under a template food control plan.
If you are making any of these products for export, and need an Official Assurance to do this, you'll need to work under the Animal Products Act.
You'll need to follow the guidance for National Programme 3 if you make:
- food additives
- processing aids
- vitamins and minerals intended to be added to other food
- artificial and intense sweeteners
- yeast or living cultures in liquid or dry form.
If you make fresh pasta, dehydrated foods, chilled and frozen meals, or desserts, that are not made to order, you'll need to develop your own custom food control plan.
If you are a wholesale butcher or fish supplier using minced meat or poultry to make products like sausages, patties, fish fingers or nuggets, you'll need to develop your own custom food control plan.
You'll need to operate under National Programme 3 if you make:
- bottled water
- cola and other soft drinks
- energy drinks
- fruit juices and drinks
- fermented drinks such as kombucha.
If you process your beverage product by fermentation (for example, kombucha) or pasteurise it, you'll also need to follow set processing requirements.
Processing requirements [PDF, 371 KB]
If you make your product for immediate consumption (for example, a juice bar) you'll need to operate under a food control plan.
You'll need to develop your own custom food control plan if you make:
- dried or pasteurised pulp egg products
- egg products with further processing (like fried, pickled or smoked eggs).
You'll need to follow the guidance in National Programme 2 if you process or pack:
- loose tea
- dried herbs or spices
You'll also need to follow set requirements for processing.
Processing requirements [PDF, 371 KB]
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.
Businesses that should already be registered
Food businesses that should have registered by 30 June 2017 include:
- food service business with an alcohol license (restaurants, cafes, caterers)
- early childhood education centres
- processors of nuts and seeds (including coffee roasters)
- manufacturers of food for vulnerable people
- manufacturers of sauces and dips that need to be kept cold
- manufacturers of ready-to-eat salads.
If you've missed this deadline, or are unsure of what to do, please contact your local council or MPI as soon as possible.
Businesses that need to register by 2019
Businesses detailed on this page need to register by 31 March 2018.
Some businesses don't need to apply to register until 30 November 2018, including those that switched early to a deemed food control plan.