Steps to a My Food Plan
This plan is only available through My Food Rules. A ‘My Food Plan’ is composed of pre-evaluated material to help food businesses manage food safety and suitability. Food businesses will need to register their My Food Plan with MPI. We've created a step-by-step process so you can see what's involved.
What is a My Food Plan?
My Food Plan outlines procedures to help food businesses make safe and suitable food and drink. The plan can be tailored to reflect the type of food and drink a business makes and enable management of any common food safety risks. My Food Plan has already been evaluated, which saves you time and money.
You don’t have to use a My Food Plan. The choice is yours. If you choose not to use My Food Plan, you will need to either create your own custom Food Control Plan, or register other plans individually.
You can get your tailored My Food Plan through the My Food Rules tool.
Who can use a My Food Plan?
We've put together some examples of business types that can use a My Food Plan:
- A meat packer. Ted buys bulk meat from local farmers after the animals were slaughtered at a registered abattoir. Once Ted has packed the meat, it’s stored in his chillers and is purchased by restaurants.
- Vegan cheese maker. Valarie has been perfecting her vegan cheese and mayonnaise recipes for a number of years and has decided to start wholesaling her products to different retail stores nationwide.
- Gelato maker. Garry makes gelato and currently sells directly to customers. He wants to sell tubs of his gelato to local supermarkets and stores.
- Milk producer. Molly has been making her own almond and oat milk for years. She has decided to open a business where she will sell bottled nut, seed, and oat milks to the public.
- Seafood smoker. Sam has a fish smoker and has decided to offer smoker services to other businesses. The seafood is processed prior to arriving at his premises and he will smoke the fish, pack it into bins, and then distribute it back to the businesses.
Step 1: Go to my food rules
Make sure that My Food Plan is for you.
By answering a simple online questionnaire, you can find everything you need to know about food rules – if you need to register your business, who with (and under which legislation), and how to do it.
My Food Rules is based on the type of food you want to make and how you want to make it. Once you’ve been through the tool, you will be given the option to either use one of our plans that we have tailored for you, or create your own.
Step 2: Download your tailored My Food Plan
Download your tailored My Food Plan and either print it out, or save it on your desktop or somewhere you can easily find it.
How do you download the plan?
You can either print it out or save it on your computer to easily find later.
You can use your computer to download the plan from the My Food Rules tool to a PDF, which you can save or print. We have instructions on how to do this depending on which browser you are using.
How to download your plan [PDF, 562 KB]
Step 3: Read and fill in your plan
Read your plan to ensure it will help you to make safe and suitable food, and fill in the blank sections.
How to use My Food Plan
My Food Plan contains procedures for managing food safety and suitability in your food business. Each topic has three sections – Know, Do and Show.
Know outlines why the topic is important to food safety and suitability. Do outlines what you and your staff need to do to make safe and suitable food. Show outlines the records you need to keep and what your verifier will look for when they visit your business.
Using My Food Plan means agreeing to follow the limits (e.g. time temperature cooking combinations), conditions or options in the plan. Some businesses have other ways they want to do things. This is fine as long as you can show they are safe, but it will you need to develop your own plan (or procedure) and have this evaluated.
There are multiple areas in the plan where you need to fill in the blanks or select options for how you will manage food safety. Make sure you do this before you find a verifier.
Step 4: Contact MPI to arrange an interview
You will need to undertake an interview with MPI to ensure your plan gives you everything you need to make safe and suitable food.
The purpose of the interview is to ensure that your tailored My Food Plan will help you to make safe and suitable food. It is a ‘double check’ that your My Food Plan covers all of the products you will make, the processes you will use, and that it can work for you.
The interview will take place over the phone and will take about one hour to complete. You will need to contact MPI to arrange your interview.
Contact us at email@example.com to arrange an interview.
Step 5: Have your interview with MPI
At the end of your interview, you will be advised if you can register your My Food Plan or if you need to do more work. If your plan needs more work, you will be advised what is missing and what you need to do to be able to meet food safety and suitability rules.
This is a good time to ask any questions you may have.
Step 6: Find a verifier
You will need to find a verifier that can check you’re on the right track before you register you food business with MPI.
Before you register, you need to choose a verifier (a verifier is a food safety expert who will come and check your business once you are operating). A list of verifiers will be provided to you by MPI once you have undertaken the interview in step 5.
Ask your chosen verifier to provide you with a letter confirming that they will verify your business so that you can include this in your registration application.
Step 7: Register your plan
You must register your my food plan with MPI, and renew your registration each year.
You must register your My Food Plan with MPI, and renew your registration each year.
To be able to register your plan with MPI, you will need:
- a completed registration form;
- your My Food Plan - you must include a copy of your completed plan with your application form, including site plans for every address you operate from;
- a letter from a verifier to say that they will verify you;
- a completed Scope of Operations Form – this will be provided by My Food Rules in the ‘Scope of operations’ section;
- 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 will have to pay to register your food business. The application fee is on the registration form.
Complete the registration form
Download the MPI registration form [PDF, 2 MB]
Send application and completed documentation to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or post to:
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Step 8: Make safe and suitable food
Once you are registered, you can start selling food. Follow good food safety practices and keep the records of what you do required by your plan.
Start using your completed My Food Plan to make safe and suitable food.
Step 9: Get verified
After you’ve registered, your verifier (auditor) will check you’re making safe food.
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 your nominated verification agency (verifier) when your food control plan is registered.
Frequency of visits
How often you are checked will depend on how well you manage food safety. This could be as little as once every 18 months, if you are managing food safety well or as often as every 3 months if you are not. You must pay for each visit, so the better you do, the less it will cost you.
What a verifier does
The verifier will check you are following your plan effectively and keeping all the records you need in order to make safe and suitable food. They will give feedback on areas that need improvement.
Step 10: Ongoing use of My Food Plan
Keeping your plan current
Once you have your plan in place, you must:
- follow your plan to make safe food and keep all necessary records;
- renew your registration with MPI every year.
If you make any changes to what you do, you may need to change your plan. For example, if you start using new processes or making types of food that are not covered by your plan, or your business changes ownership or shuts down, significant amendments need to be evaluated and registered.