Food for vulnerable populations (YOPI)

Find out the requirements you need to meet if you make food that is intended for sale and that will be eaten by infants, older people, or pregnant women.

YOPI – who they are

Do you manufacture food products for vulnerable populations? You do if your products are specifically targeted at, designed for, or developed to be eaten by

  • children under 5 years of age
  • adults over 65
  • pregnant women
  • people with compromised immune systems.

Examples of YOPI foods

Examples include food businesses that prepare or manufacture

  • baby foods
  • food for infants, for example, puree, rusks, baby cereals
  • powdered meal replacements for the elderly or immuno-compromised populations
  • ready-to-eat foods, such as those delivered daily to the elderly.

Meeting requirements

If you make food or beverages for vulnerable populations, you need to comply with the Food Act 2014 or the Animal Products Act (APA) 1999.

Do your products contain animal product, and are they intended for export to countries requiring official assurances (export certificates)? If so, you need to comply with the Animal Products Act (APA) 1999.

Specific requirements

Foodborne illnesses can be much more severe in vulnerable populations. That's why you need to ensure your procedures are strictly controlled, to minimise any risk of your products causing illness. The controls that are applied to manage food safety and hygiene in other food manufacturing situations also apply when manufacturing for vulnerable populations. But you need to apply them even more rigorously.

There are many ways to enhance your operation to ensure that it is fit to manufacture food or beverages for vulnerable populations. These include

  • designing, installing, and maintaining equipment in a way that makes it easy to clean and sanitise effectively
  • preventing cross-contamination through physical separation of different processes wherever possible
  • maintaining positive air pressure, to prevent the entry of unfiltered air into high-hygiene areas
  • using strict access controls to high-care areas
  • applying stringent incoming raw material specifications
  • applying rigorous good operating practice, including taking extra care with personal hygiene, cleaning, and sanitation
  • using well-trained and competent staff
  • applying rigorous process control.

Find out more about minimising the risks of foodborne illness from bacteria such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Listeria:

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