Recognised persons verify food businesses
A verifier makes sure a food business is following good food safety practices. Verifiers help educate businesses on how to do this.
A verifier can:
- work for a local council (a territorial authority)
- work for an independent agency
- be an independent person (sole trader).
Different types of recognised persons are recognised by different authorities.
Evaluators check custom food control plans
A food business operating under a custom food control plan (apart from My Food Plans) must have the plan evaluated. If you want to become an evaluator of custom food control plans you'll also need to apply to become a recognised person.
Why you need to be recognised
Checking that a business complies with the law is a regulatory role. Private agencies and councils can do this role on behalf of the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). MPI's recognition process makes sure agencies or individuals meet the standards we would apply if we were doing the checks. If you are a "section 137 verifier" (read below) it is also important that you follow your local council's process.
Who recognises verifiers and evaluators?
Local councils employ verifiers of Simply Safe & Suitable template food control plans. Local council verifiers can audit businesses that have registered a Simply Safe & Suitable template plan with the local council, as long as those businesses also operate in a single territorial authority region and sell mainly directly to consumers. These verifiers are often called "section 137 verifiers".
MPI is the recognition authority for all other recognised persons and agencies. Businesses registered under the following can be verified by anyone with the appropriate recognition:
- Simply Safe & Suitable template food control plans where a business is in multiple council regions or does not sell mainly direct to consumers (Section 39)
- National Programme 1, National Programme 2, or National Programme 3
- custom food control plans, including My Food Plans
- industry-developed templates approved by MPI (Section 40).
If you are a sole trader, you will need to meet the requirements to become an independent recognised person. You need to meet an agency's quality management system (QMS) requirements as well as person competency requirements.
How to become recognised
Follow the steps for agencies or for persons (including sole traders and independents).