Food businesses need to be independently checked
Verification makes sure a food business is:
- selling safe food
- following good food safety practices.
A verifier is an agency or person that has gained the appropriate recognition. This could be someone employed by:
- your local council
- an independent agency.
You will need to contact a verifier before you register if you are operating under either:
- a national programme
- a custom food control plan.
You need to include a letter from your confirmed verifier with your registration application.
Who can verify your business
You will be verified by your local council if your business:
- is registered under a Simply Safe & Suitable template food control plan, and
- operates in a single council region, and
- sells mainly directly to consumers.
Anyone with the appropriate recognition can verify a business registered under a:
- Simply Safe & Suitable template food control plan where a business is in multiple council regions and/or does not sell primarily directly to consumers
- National Programme 1, National Programme 2, or National Programme 3
- custom food control plan
- My Food Plan
- industry-generated template approved by MPI.
How to find a verifier
Independent verifiers and local councils set their own fees. These fees can vary. You should get some quotes before choosing a verifier.
If your verifier changes, let your registration authority know.
A guide to times and costs
Our guide has information on how long a typical verification takes and how much it is likely to cost.
How long does verification take? [PDF, 253 KB]
Your first verification
For all food businesses, the first verification happens after you are registered and operating your business.
How soon depends on if you are a new or existing business and what plan or programme you are operating under.
If you are a new business
A new business must arrange for their verifier to visit within 6 weeks after registering.
You can request, in writing, to extend the initial verification for another 6 weeks after becoming registered with valid reasons. These include:
- your business won’t be trading by the verification due date
- unplanned, special circumstances make the verification impractical or impossible for your business or the verifier
- your business couldn’t find an available verifier (despite making all reasonable efforts).
If you are an existing business
An existing business must arrange for their verifier to visit either within 6 months or a year of registration.
- Custom food control plan and National Programme 3 businesses must be verified within 6 months.
- Otherwise, your business must be verified within 12 months.
How often verification is needed
After the first verification, 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 or just once every 18 months.
You may be able to get your food business verified remotely. This can reduce costs if your verifier would need to travel a long way to visit your business. Remote verification is available to qualifying businesses that operate under national programmes.
Find out more
Download frequently asked questions from food businesses [PDF, 210 KB]
Who to contact
If you have questions about getting your food business verified, email firstname.lastname@example.org