Food Act 2014 food safety toolkit

Guidance and resources to help food businesses understand and meet their obligations under the Food Act 2014. Resources include links to videos, posters, and templates.

Food safety is good for business

If you own or manage a food business, you know your customers expect the food you make to be safe and suitable. On this page, we've compiled resources to help you navigate what to do and find methods that will suit your business. 

A toolkit to help you

We launched our food safety toolkit in 19 July 2018. It's an interactive package of tools to help food businesses using the Simply Safe & Suitable (SSS) Template Food Control Plan (FCP) meet the rules.

The toolkit focuses on some of the most important food safety messages.

In 2018, we sent a toolkit box to every New Zealand business with a registered SSS TFCP. You can access your toolkit from your local council when you register your SSS plan. A number of the toolkit resources are available for free on this page, including the Food Safety Buddy magazine and posters. If you want to buy more toolkits, or if you don’t use a SSS plan but would like to buy a toolkit, visit our Blue Star shop.

What's in the toolkit?

Co-designed with businesses, the toolkit has been built to quickly promote good food safety and suitability practices among staff and to support your training programmes. In each box are:

  • posters to display in the workplace
  • informative magnets to go on fridges
  • the Food Safety Buddy magazine
  • the Allergy Aware card game, to help staff learn about food allergies
  • and more.

The kits are designed to be customised so your food business can use these in a way that suits your staff and your working methods. Note, the toolkit is not a legal requirement – the rules that businesses must follow are outlined in their Food Control Plans.

If you have any ideas to improve the toolkit, email

Toolkit posters

Toolkit posters: Standard pack [PDF, 2.2 MB]


Toolkit posters: Add-On pack [PDF, 2.7 MB]


Toolkit posters: Low ink pack [PDF, 376 KB]


Other posters

 'Be food safe' poster – English [PDF, 1.3 MB]


 'Be food safe' poster – Te reo Māori [PDF, 1.9 MB]


Toolkit record blanks

Ka Ora, Ka Ako | Healthy School Lunches Programme Record Blanks [PDF, 1.1 MB]


Record blanks for food service and food retail [PDF, 2.6 MB]


Winemakers [PDF, 2.6 MB]


Cheesemakers [PDF, 1.5 MB]


The Buddy magazine

buddy magazine front page

The Buddy is a magazine for all food businesses. Buddy aims to help teams to grow their understanding of the importance of effective food safety. It can be used as a conversation starter as well as a training resource. It’s full of useful guides and comics, perfect for all learning styles.

The latest issue (July 2020) is all about food safety culture – the range of behaviours that enable a team to make consistently safe and suitable food.

Our food safety videos on YouTube

What is the food safety toolkit?

Learn more about the toolkit and how it will help your business keep food safe.

Single-use tongs

Check out a way to prevent cross-contamination of food in your restaurant.

Pest control in kitchens

Discover one unique solution to this problem.

Labelling containers

Find out a simple way to label food containers.

Wash your hands

Some examples of when your hands come in to contact with bugs in the kitchen.

Why keep records?

Find out why it’s a good idea to keep records.

More videos

Food safety guidance

Food Act 2014 guidance

Exemption from Food Act Registration [PDF, 497 KB]

Find out if your business is exempt, when you could apply for exemption and when an exemption application is unlikely to be approved.


Food Act 2014: The facts [PDF, 364 KB]

A brief summary of the Food Act and what it means for you.


Food Act 2014: Question and answer sheet [PDF, 210 KB] 

How do you register under the Food Act 2014 and more.


Find your way through the Food Act [PDF, 2.6 MB]

A guide to finding out what you need to do to comply with the Food Act 2014.


Selling food as your business


Getting started on your Template Food Control Plan [PDF, 2.7 MB]
These pre-evaluated plans are ready (only available for some sectors) and might work for your business.
Also available in other languages:


Custom Food Control Plans [PDF, 1.1 MB]

A guide to creating your own unique plan that fits your business.


National Programme overview [PDF, 163 KB]
If you are making lower-risk foods or food preparation is only part of your business, you may be covered by a National Programme.


Selling food for fundraising or community purposes

Market guidance [PDF, 473 KB]

Selling food at a local market? Check this guide for help.


Fundraising [PDF, 736 KB]

Running a fundraising activity that involves food? This guide will help.


Clubs, societies and community groups [PDF, 548 KB]

Every group is different. See how yours fits into the Food Act 2014.



Food in education or residential care

Early childhood education services [PDF, 249 KB]

Little people's food needs to be safe and suitable. Find out what early childhood centres need to do.


Examples of how the Food Act 2014 applies to early childhood education services
[PDF, 540 KB]


Ka Ora, Ka Ako | Healthy School Lunches Programme Food Control Plan Quick Reference Guide
[PDF, 533 KB]


Schools [PDF, 565 KB]
Primary and secondary schools use foods in many different ways. Check this guide to see how they should be managed.


Taking Kai Home from School Flyer
[PDF, 265 KB]


Tips for Keeping School Lunches Safe
[PDF, 398 KB]


OSCAR Guidance [PDF, 579 KB]
If you run an Out of School and Recreation programme, find out if you have to register for the Food Act.


Technical guidance

A guide for making food for animals [PDF, 267 KB]
This guide explains the different food rules for making food for animals, or for both animals and humans.


A guide to food labelling [PDF, 1.1 MB]

Many foods need to be labelled accurately if you wish to sell them. Find out what goes into a good food label.


A Guide to Labelling Food Containing Hemp Seeds [PDF, 652 KB]
This guide helps you to create a label to meet the rules of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code), Fair Trading Act and Weights and Measures Regulations.


A Guide to Hemp Seeds as Food [PDF, 521 KB]
This guide helps you to know what’s allowed for food use and how to label it.


A Guide to Alcoholic Drinks – what’s in them and how to label them [PDF, 678 KB]

You need to know how to label your alcoholic drink if you are a  manufacturer, importer or retailer. 


Importing foods made with fortified ingredients into New Zealand [PDF, 707 KB]
Check this guide to sell imported foods containing vitamins and minerals due to the use of fortified ingredients.


Thermometer Calibration Guidance [PDF, 292 KB]
Thermometer calibration is like a Warrant of Fitness for your thermometer - it’s a chance to make sure everything is working correctly.


Lupin [PDF, 161 KB]

Lupin is a legume that can cause a strong allergic reaction in some people. Find out how to keep food safe.


A guide to New Zealand Honey Labelling [PDF, 332 KB]

This guide is for honey extractors, packers, manufacturers and importers who sell their honey in New Zealand.


Sulphur dioxide/sulphites in meat [PDF, 242 KB]
This guide helps you to understand the rules on the use of sulphur dioxide/sulphites as a preservative in meat.


Importing guidance

Border Bugs – Processing Times for Imported Foods [PDF, 675 KB]


Getting clearance for your food – how to import food into New Zealand [PDF, 394 KB]


What you need to know before importing food into New Zealand
[PDF, 341 KB]


Directors, executives, and business owners

The shop

You can order the toolkit and some other resources online through Blue Star.

Who can help?

Last reviewed: