Steps to a Simply Safe and Suitable template food control plan

Most food service businesses and food retailers can use the Simply Safe & Suitable template to meet requirements of the Food Act. We've created a step-by-step process so you can see what's involved.

Update your template to the latest version

We updated the Simply Safe & Suitable template Food Control Plan (FCP) in July 2018. If your business is already using a Simply Safe & Suitable template FCP, you need to update your plan.

Follow the steps

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Step 1: Create

Create a Simply Safe & Suitable template FCP.

Create your template FCP with our online tool

Answer some questions in our online tool to get a copy of the template, with all the sections that are relevant to your business.

Create your template FCP without using the tool

If you don't want to use the tool to create your plan, you can download and complete the template as a pdf document.

Just complete the sections that are relevant to the type of food business you run.

Translations of the Simply Safe & Suitable template are available in:

  • Te Tātauira Mahere Whakahaere Kai (Te Reo Māori)
  • 食品控制计划范本 (Chinese simplified)
  • 食品控制計劃範本 (Chinese traditional)
  • 표준 식품관리계획서 (Korean)
  • แม่แบบแผนการควบคุมอาหาร(Thai)
  • टेम्पलेट खाद्य नियंत्रण योजना (Hindi)
  • បែបបទគំរូសម្រាប់ផែនការគ្រប់គ្រងចំណីអាហារ (Khmer/Cambodian)
  • Bản mẫu Kế hoạch Kiểm soát Thực phẩm (Vietnamese)

Food Safety Toolkit

The Food Safety Toolkit contains resources to help you follow your plan. It includes templates you can use to keep records, training resources, and useful materials for your kitchen. All resources in the toolkit are optional, and we will add more over time.


Step 2: Register
Most businesses need to register with their local council.

Registering with your council – most food businesses

You must register with your local council if your business is based in only one council area, or if you have a mobile or online business.

To register with your council you will need to:

  • contact your local council and ask for a registration form
  • complete any other requirements set by the council
  • complete a scope of operations form – this sets out exactly what your business does
  • return all documents to your local council.

Note: Some councils don't require a scope of operations form, check their application form to see what they need.

Registering with MPI – multi-site businesses only

If you operate from fixed places (shops or packing houses) in more than one council area, you are called a 'multi-site' business.  Multi-site businesses can choose whether to register:

  • each place separately with each local council
  • these all together with MPI.
Before you register with MPI, contact a verifier

If registering with MPI, you need to contact a verifier before you register, and get them to confirm that they will verify your business. Check the verifier map to find a verifier who covers your district (make sure they verify FCP businesses).

You can also find a verifier on our registers.

Next steps:

  • 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.

When you have confirmed a verifier, you can complete your registration with MPI.

Help to find a verifier

If you are unable to find a verifier from the map or lists, or the price quoted seem unreasonable, email

Complete your registration

To register your multi-site business with MPI you will need:

  • a letter from a verifier or auditor to say that they will verify you
  • a completed 'scope of operations' form – this tells us exactly what your business does
  • a completed registration form
  • address details for all the places where you make or sell food, including site plans for every address you operate from. If you're registering with MPI then you must be operating a food business from more than one address. Include each address on your registration form or you can 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.

Send your completed forms and application to:

  • or post to:
    Food Act registrations
    Ministry for Primary Industries
    PO Box 2526
    Wellington 6140
    New Zealand.
Step 3: Get checked
A verifier must check you're making safe food.

What is verification?

Verifiers are professionals who will visit your business to check you are selling safe and suitable food. The verifier will 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.

Almost all template FCP businesses are verified by their local council. Talk to them about verification when you contact them about registration.

When to get verified

Your first verification happens after you are registered.

If you are a new business, you must arrange for your verifier to visit within 6 weeks of becoming registered. If you are an existing business, your verifier must visit within a year of your registration.

Apply to extend your verification timeframe

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 you or your business aren't able to be verified.

You need to email or write to your registration authority (either your council or MPI), 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.

Frequency of visits

How often you are checked will depend on how successfully you are managing food safety. This could be as little as once every 18 months, if you are managing food safety well. It could be as often as every 3 months if you are not doing well. You must pay for each visit, so the better your food safety systems, the less it will cost you.

How much will verification cost?

Councils and independent verifiers set their own fees.

Step 4: Ongoing use of your plan
Keeping your plan current.

Once you have a plan in place and have registered, you must:

  • follow your plan to make safe food, and keep the records required
  • renew your registration with your local council or MPI every year
  • contact your council or MPI if your business changes ownership or shuts down
  • update your plan if you make any changes to what you do or if updates have been made to your template.

Who to contact

If you have questions about food control plans, email

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