Land-based seafood processing and food safety
If you're a primary or secondary seafood processor, the food safety requirements for your business depend on whether your products are for the New Zealand market or for export.
What you need to do
To find out what requirements you need to meet, you first need to identify which kind of processing your business does:
- primary seafood processing, or
- secondary seafood processing.
What is primary seafood processing?
Examples of primary seafood processing on land include:
- heading, gutting, and filleting fish
- tubing squid
- tailing crustaceans
- shucking, heat shocking, land-based wet storage and depuration (cleansing) of bivalve molluscan shellfish (BMS).
Find out more in the definition notice
What is secondary seafood processing?
Secondary processing of seafood products includes processes at any stage beyond primary processing. Examples of secondary processing include:
- acidification, salting, brining, smoking, thermal processing, refrigeration, and storage
- extraction, drying, or blending of powders from fish or shellfish
- adding non-animal product ingredients, such as breadcrumbs and sauces, to seafood products.
Operating under legislation
Land-based seafood processing premises that do primary or secondary processing must operate under either:
- the Animal Products Act 1999 using a registered risk management programme (RMP), or
- the Food Act 2014 using an audited food control plan (FCP).
Almost all land-based seafood processing premises that do primary or secondary processing (especially for export) need to have a registered risk management programme (RMP).
Processors that need an RMP
You need to operate under an RMP if you're a:
- primary processor and your product is for export
- primary processor selling by wholesale in the New Zealand market
- secondary processor preparing seafood for export to markets that require official assurances (export certificates).
Primary processors that do not need an RMP
You do not need an RMP if you:
- sell retail or wholesale seafood only on the New Zealand market
- process fish bait, fish berley, chum, or ground bait.
Find out more about the exemptions and requirements for primary processors
Secondary processors that do not need an RMP
You don't need an RMP if you're a secondary processor that:
- only processes fish for the New Zealand market
- exports to countries where there is no requirement for official assurances (export certificates).
Code of practice (COP) for seafood processors
The processing of seafood products code of practice (COP) can help you to:
- prepare a successful RMP
- manage foodborne illnesses (like listeriosis).
Depending on their circumstances, processors who do not need to operate under an RMP must use an FCP.
Who to contact
If you have questions about the information on this page, email email@example.com