Introduction to food monitoring programmes

Monitoring food to ensure it is safe and suitable is one of the vital tasks carried out by MPI. Read a summary of MPI's food monitoring programmes.

The role of monitoring in food safety

Providing safe, nutritious, and suitable food is a priority for New Zealand, which relies on food exports for its economic well-being. MPI's monitoring programmes play a crucial role in ensuring food produced and consumed in New Zealand is safe and suitable by:

  • verifying that the food production systems are managing risks to food safety
  • establishing safe levels for residues, contaminants, and other hazards.

The programmes cover an extensive range of food products from production and harvest to the point of sale.

Different programmes monitor different foods

Many of the programmes are specific to domestically produced food or a food sector:

  • National Microbiological Database (NMD) – monitors meat and poultry
  • National Chemical Residues Programme (NCRP) – monitors cattle, sheep, goats, deer, horses, pigs, ostrich, wild animals, poultry, salmon, and honey for residues and contaminants
  • National Chemical Contaminants Programme (NCCP) – monitors food safety hazards in dairy products and milk
  • Shellfish Biotoxin Monitoring Programmes – 2 programmes monitor commercially harvested bivalve molluscan shellfish (BMS) and recreationally gathered BMS for residues and contaminants
  • Food Residues Survey Programme – surveys food available on the domestic market, including imported food.

The following programme has a different purpose:

  • New Zealand Total Diet Study – every 5 years measures residues and contaminants in the average diet. This, when combined with model diets, allows an estimation of exposure to these residues and contaminants relative to the acceptable daily intake

Further information on food monitoring

Find out about the legislation that governs MPI's food monitoring programmes and how these are founded on risk management principles.

Describes the various mechanisms by which sampling regimes and plans are issued for each programme and how laboratory testing is controlled.

There are a range of programmes under the Animal Products Act 1999 that apply to some farmed meat, poultry, dairy, seafood, and honey. These include the NMD, NCRP, NCCP and seafood monitoring programmes.

Find information about the Food Residues Survey Programme (FRSP), which is run under the Food Act 2014.

Find information about the population groups and foods involved in a long-term study of contaminants, residues, elements, and nutrients in the typical diet of New Zealanders.

Keep up to date

It’s important to keep up with any new or revised information on food monitoring, including requirements, consultations, policies, and other content changes.


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