Create an industry-developed template food control plan

Find out how to create a food control plan (FCP) template that can be used by a group of businesses, for example an industry association or a restaurant chain.

What is an industry-developed template food control plan?

Organisations, such as an industry body, a restaurant chain, or a franchise, can create their own template food control plans (FCPs) to meet the needs of a particular group of food businesses. These are also known as section 40 or s40 templates.

The template belongs to the organisation or person who created it, so they control who can use it.

Using an existing industry-developed FCP

You can use an existing template if you have permission from the organisation that created it. Organisation with existing templates are:

Creating a new industry-developed FCP

If you develop your own template, you'll need to apply to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to get it approved. Before we can approve it, we'll evaluate your template and consult on it with the public.

Steps to creating an industry-developed template FCP

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Step 1: Create your plan

Create a template FCP to suit your business.

Create your plan by building on a base template or starting from scratch.

You can use the "My Food Rules" tool to create a base template that you can then build on.

My Food Rules

Our custom FCP guide has information to help you develop your plan.

Custom Food Control Plan guide [PDF, 1.1 MB]

Your template needs to meet the requirements of the Food Act 2014. But how you develop it, its content, and its style can be unique to your organisation.

If you already have a set of recognised standards that you or your group use, you just need to make sure they also cover everything needed in an FCP.

Keep in mind that:

  • an FCP should identify, reduce, and manage risks that may make food unsafe to eat.
  • when your FCP is registered, it becomes a legal document your business must follow. If you want to make any changes, there are steps you must follow.

Find out more about amending your plan

When writing your plan, consider the people who will use it (such as in a kitchen or a factory). What would make it easier for them to follow all the rules while keeping food safe?

Step 2: Get your plan evaluated

Apply to get your template evaluated and approved by MPI.

Apply to get your template evaluated and approved by MPI.

Download and complete the application and scope of operations forms.

Industry-developed template FCP application form [PDF, 972 KB]

Scope of operations form [PDF, 511 KB]

Put together your pack to send to MPI. It needs to include your:

  • application form
  • template for evaluation
  • scope of operations form, detailing the processes that apply to your template.

Email your documents to approvals@mpi.govt.nz

Or post to:
Approvals Operations
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140
New Zealand.

We'll review your template to make sure all the necessary parts are included, and estimate the cost for full evaluation. You should get this in about 10 working days. You'll then have 5 working days to let us know if you agree to go ahead with the evaluation.

Getting your evaluation results

After about 20 working days, MPI will let you know the outcome, including any recommendations.

If your FCP template doesn't pass the evaluation, you'll be able to make changes and resubmit it.

What we charge

Assessment fees and invoicing details are in the application form.

Step 3: Consultation and approval

MPI consults with the public on your template before approval.

If we evaluate your template as fit for purpose, we'll then start a public consultation with anyone who might use your template before approval.

We'll send any consultation documents to you first, so you can make sure they don't contain any information that shouldn't be made available to the general public. We won't publicly release your template.

Following consultation, we'll review all responses. We'll let you know if any substantial changes are needed. Amendments are managed on a case-by-case basis.

We'll then submit your template for formal MPI approval.

If your template is approved, it will generally be for 3 years. After this, you can apply to have it renewed.

How long approval takes

For a straightforward template, the approval process may take up to 3 months from your initial application. This allows time for us to evaluate the plan effectively, and consult with affected parties.

Step 4: Contact a verifier before you register

Verifiers are professionals who will visit your business to check you are following good food safety processes. They could be from your local council or an independent agency.

Before you register your plan, you need to choose a verifier.

  • Contact the verifier to check if they can do your verification within your timeframe and ask how much they will charge.
  • It's a good idea to ask for quotes from more than one verifier.
  • When you have chosen who you want, ask them for a letter to confirm they will verify you.
  • Include the letter with your application to get registered.

You don't need to be verified until after you are registered.

You can find a verifier for your industry-developed template on our registers. Click on custom FCP for the recognition function.

Find a verifier

Step 5: Register your approved plan

There are 2 ways you can approach registration for an industry-developed template:

  1. Businesses using your industry-developed template can each register their plan with MPI and renew their registration each year.
  2. As the owner of the template, you can register all those using it under a single registration. This is called a bulk registration.

To register with MPI, you will need:

  • a completed registration form
  • your industry-developed FCP – you must include a copy of your completed plan with your application form, including site plans for every address you operate from.
  • a report from an evaluator endorsing your industry-developed FCP (see Step 2)
  • a letter from a verifier to say that they will verify you (this could be slightly different for bulk registration).
  • a completed scope of operations form specific to your type of business
  • address details for all the places where you make or sell food (record these on the registration form or use our template spreadsheet for multi-site addresses)
  • a copy of the Companies Act registration certificates for any parts of your business that are limited liability companies.

You also have to pay for registering your business. The application fee is detailed on the registration form.

Bulk registration

For bulk registration you will also need to provide a spreadsheet that includes details of all the businesses that are using the template.

You will need evidence that you have made arrangements for verification to be carried out, such as a contract with a verification agency.

Complete the registration form

Download the MPI registration form [PDF, 2 MB]

Download the template spreadsheet for multi-site addresses [XLSX, 12 KB]

Complete the scope of operations form

You'll need to tell us exactly what your business does, by filling out a scope of operations form.

The form includes:

  • the Food Act sectors you operate in – for example, retail, food service, or manufacturing
  • your products – the type of food you make or sell
  • processes or how you make your food – for example, is it reheated, fermented, or sterilised?
  • trading operations – how and where you sell your products.

On the form, choose the sections that apply to your business and tick boxes for all the things that you do.

Download the scope of operations form [PDF, 511 KB]

Sending completed documentation

Email your application documents to approvals@mpi.govt.nz

Or post to:
Approvals Operations
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140
New Zealand.

Step 6: Verify that your plan is being followed effectively

What a verifier does

After you've registered, the verifier you've chosen will visit to check you are following your food control plan effectively and keeping all the records you need. They will give feedback on areas that need improvement.

Timeframe for checks

If you are a new business, your verifier must visit within 3 months of registering. If you are an existing business, your verifier must visit within 6 months of registering. MPI will notify both you and your verifier when your FCP is registered.

Frequency of visits

How often you are verified depends on:

  • the complexity of your food processes
  • the types of food you sell
  • how well you manage food safety.

Verification may be needed as often as every 3 months to once every 18 months.

Apply to extend your verification due date

In some circumstances, new businesses can apply to extend the date when their verification is due.

You can apply if:

  • you haven't already started trading by the due date for verification
  • something major or unplanned happens that means your business can't be verified.

You need to apply to your registration authority in writing 2 weeks before verification is due.

The verification date may be extended by up to 6 weeks. The registration authority must either grant or decline your request at least 5 working days before verification is due.

How much will verification cost?

Councils and independent verifiers set their own fees. The time it takes to verify you will depend on the complexity of your business and how well you are managing food safety.

Verifiers can often share travel costs between businesses in the same area. Check this with the verifier.

Find out more about how long verification takes and likely costs [PDF, 253 KB]

 

Who to contact

If you have questions about food control plans, email info@mpi.govt.nz

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