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Work to strengthen food recalls and risk-based plans and programmes

Update – June 2022

New regulatory requirements for food recalls

New regulatory requirements to strengthen tracing and recall procedures for food business have been incorporated into the new redesigned Animal Products Regulations 2021 and Wine Regulations 2021, which will come into effect on 1 July 2022. The Food Regulations 2015 is also being amended with these new requirements and is also coming into effect on 1 July 2022.

Animal Products Regulations 2021 – NZ Legislation

Wine Regulations 2021 – NZ Legislation

From 1 July 2022 animal products and wine businesses with a plan or programme and exporters will need to have traceability and recall procedures and will need to tell New Zealand Food Safety promptly if they decide to undertake a recall (food control plan businesses, national programme businesses and importers already need to do this).

Recall procedures should include criteria for deciding when a recall will be made and set out how retrieval and reprocessing, or disposal of the product will be managed.

Businesses must also provide New Zealand Food Safety with the following details in a readily accessible format within 24 hours after the recall:

  • product affected by the recall
  • reason for the recall
  • any additional information required.

From 1 July 2023, all food, animal products, and wine businesses with a plan or programme, importers, and exporters will need to undertake an annual simulated recall.

New Zealand Food Safety has developed a range of new guidance material for businesses. This guidance is designed to help food businesses understand how to carry out a fast and effective food recall (or simulated food recall), and to prepare for the new regulatory requirements.

Food recall guidance for businesses

Step-by-step food recall guidance for food businesses [PDF, 642 KB]

Simulated recall guidance for food businesses [PDF, 562 KB]

Food recall documents

New Zealand Food Safety is also developing an online tool and video about how to do a food recall, which will be available on the website later this year.

New registration regulations for risk management programmes (RMPs) and wine standards management plans (WSMPs)

Hazard identification and management information requirements

In March 2020, regulations requiring hazard identification and management information when registering the required parts (previously known as an outline) of your RMP or WSMP came into effect. These regulations have been incorporated into the new Animal Products Regulations 2021 and Wine Regulations 2021.

When registering your RMP or WSMP with MPI, you can choose to submit either your entire plan or only certain parts of it.

These parts are referred to as the required parts of the RMP or WSMP.

Businesses are required to provide hazard identification and management information (for example, aspects of a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point plan) when registering the required parts of their plan or programme. 

Highlighting significant amendments when registering 

RMP or WSMP operators applying for a significant amendment now need to submit to MPI either the complete RMP or WSMP, or the required parts (now including hazard information), with the significant amendments highlighted. This change means that MPI will have access to either the full RMP or the required parts, which will be more accessible and comprehensive than previously.

Background to this consultation

On 18 September 2019, the Government agreed to proposals strengthening food traceability and recalls, and changes to risk-based plans and programmes. 

Cabinet paper: Proposed amendments to strengthen food recalls and improve risk management programmes [PDF, 693 KB]

Public consultation on proposals to strengthen food recalls and risk management programmes was held from 25 October 2018 to 7 December 2018. MPI received 35 submissions from a number of industry organisations, businesses, and individuals. MPI thanks all those who took the time to make submissions. 

What was consulted on?

Submissions were sought on proposals to strengthen food recalls and to improve risk-based plans and programmes. The proposals have their origins in the recommendations made from the independent government inquiry into the Whey Protein Concentrate Contamination Incident (WPC Incident).

Our aim was to find the most effective ways to improve food recalls and risk-based plans and programmes through implementing the lessons learned from the WPC incident. We also wanted to understand how the proposed changes could affect businesses and avoid unnecessary compliance burdens while finding effective ways to improve the food safety regulatory system.

Summary of the food recall proposals

  1. Identifying who must maintain food recall processes: Make the current requirements explicit and ensure that all relevant businesses, including exporters of food, are covered.

  2. Clarifying what traceability procedures should cover and achieve: Businesses must keep accurate records of the foods and products they have brought or sold, and from whom or to whom they have bought or sold them (excluding sale to final consumer). These records must allow them to effectively trace and recall food products. Additional options are presented around tracing ingredients to final products and the tracing of packaging.
  3. Adjusting how long traceability records should be kept for: Same time as currently required, or 1 year past the shelf life of the food product, whichever is longer.
  4. Adjusting how quickly information must be shared during a food safety incident: Traceability information is to be provided to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) within the time specified by a food safety officer, or within 24 hours, whichever is shorter.
  5. Requiring mock recalls to be held: Mock recalls are to be held each year unless a genuine recall has occurred over the past 12 months.
  6. Format of traceability information: Explicit requirement for information provided to MPI to be in a format that is easily usable.

Summary of the risk-based plans and programmes proposals

  1. Requiring hazard management information: Hazard analysis information will be required to be sent in when registering an outline of a risk management programme. This will align with the Food Act and the Wine Act.
  2. Differentiating food safety matters and related regulatory requirements from non-food safety matters: Operators will be required to differentiate their food safety legal requirements from their non-food safety material if they have incorporated both into their risk-based plan or programme. A number of options are presented as to how this may be achieved.
  3. Improving operator access to legal requirements: The main requirements for the contents of a risk management programme will be moved into one set of regulations (currently they are in a number of Notices).

Consultation documents

Discussion document [PDF, 828 KB]

One page summary document [PDF, 311 KB]

Submissions are public information

Any submission you make becomes public information. People can ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we have to make submissions available unless we have a good reason for withholding it.  That is explained in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

Tell us if you think there are grounds to withhold specific information in your submission. Reasons might include that it's commercially sensitive or it's personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may tell us to release it.

Contact us

If you want to find out more, email us at Food.Policy@mpi.govt.nz

Redesign of existing animal products and wine regulations

Work has been done to redesign existing animal products and wine regulations and notices to make them less complex, easier to understand and more accessible. Find out more about regulatory redesign project:

Redesign of animal products and wine regulations