Introduction to meat processing
Find out what meat processing covers, and what requirements you must follow if you process, sell, or import meat products in New Zealand.
What type of meat processor are you?
Use these definitions to help you identify which type of meat processor or retailer you are. Each definition directs you to the requirements you need to follow.
Note: Information about the requirements for homekill businesses, commercial hunters, and certified wild food or game suppliers can be found in this section:
Primary meat processor
You're a primary meat processor if you:
- slaughter and dress mammals or birds (emus or ostriches)
- remove, extract, or harvest animal material from live mammals or birds for the purpose of human or animal consumption.
If you process poultry or pet food, you're not considered to be a primary meat processor.
Secondary meat processor
You're a secondary meat processor if you process animal products at any stage beyond primary processing (slaughter and dressing).
Examples of secondary meat processors include:
- retail butchers
- smallgoods (for example, bacon, ham, salami, sausages, luncheon sausage) processors.
Secondary meat processors must comply with the Food Act 2014.
Animal material depot
You operate an animal material depot if you temporarily hold animal material prior to it being transferred to a primary processor who will process it for human consumption.
Dual operator butchers
You're a dual operator if you:
- operate a retail butchery that processes or sells regulated animal products, and
- process homekill or recreational catch at the same premises or place as your retail butchery.
Requirements if you sell meat in New Zealand
If you sell meat and meat products in New Zealand (for example, from a butcher's shop or market stall), you need to meet the requirements of both the Food Act 2014 and the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.
Our Food safety rules online tool can help you find out which requirements apply to your business:
Find out more
Dual operator butchers selling meat at a market stall
If you're a dual operator butcher who operates under the Animal Products Act, and you sell meat at a stall, you'll also need to complete Attachment W – Meat at stalls and add it to your RMP:
Requirements if you import or export meat
If you import meat products into New Zealand for sale or processing, you'll need to meet requirements under the Food Act 2014.
If you export meat products, you'll need to meet general export requirements, plus any overseas market access requirements (OMARs) that apply.
Residue monitoring requirements
Depending on your business, you may need to participate in the residues monitoring programme, which tests for contaminants in meat (under a Regulated Control Scheme).
For more information on who must participate in the residues monitoring programme, see Part 1 of these regulations:
Guidance if you make food for animals
If you make any food for animals, this guide can help you to identify which Act or Acts apply to your operation:
Making food for animals [PDF, 267 KB]
Who to contact
If you have questions about meat and game processing, email email@example.com