Hiring a food consultant
You may need some extra help from an independent consultant to make sure you are following all the safe food rules for your business. Find out about food safety consultants and how to find one.
What is a food consultant?
A food consultant is someone food businesses pay to:
- help create food safety plans
- support them to follow food safety standards.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) does not assess or endorse consultants. They are independent to MPI.
Do you need to use a food consultant?
Having a food consultant is not compulsory. It's a decision you need to make for your business.
If you follow the steps in the My food rules tool this should give you all the information, forms, and templates you need for your type of business.
If you still have questions, you can contact MPI by email email@example.com
If you still need help after that, you may think about paying a food consultant for advice.
Note, using a consultant does not guarantee your food safety plan will be registered or that you will pass the checks.
What services a food consultant provides
- help you develop a strategy to get your business where you want it to be
- write a plan or programme after working with everyone in your business
- train staff in new policies and procedures
- help you find solutions to challenges you have making safe and suitable food.
They can also:
- improve your existing food safety practices and procedures
- help with safety or food traceability issues
- set up documentation and record-keeping procedures
- help you get ready for audit checks with a verifier
- provide support and keep you updated with any new food or industry standards.
You could also ask a consultant for advice on buying equipment, software, and services – like food laboratory testing.
What food consultants cannot do
If a food consultant writes your plan, they cannot evaluate or verify (check) the plan they have created. A food consultant can help you complete the application form, but they cannot register for you under their name.
Choosing a food consultant
Before you hire a consultant to help you:
- look at their areas of expertise
- ask other food businesses and your industry associations for recommendations
- ask for quotes from several consultants and compare them. Be clear about the work you want them to do
- check the qualifications of those consultants and research their reputations online
- ask for referees from customers who got similar work done and contact them.
We have lists of people who provide 3 different types of food safety consulting services. Note, consultants are not assessed or endorsed by MPI.
You could also try an internet search to find a food safety consultant for your type of business.
For help developing your risk management programme:
List of consultants under the Animal Products Act 1999 [XLSX, 29 KB]
For help developing your food control plan or with food labelling:
List of consultants under the Food Act 2014 [XLSX, 30 KB]
For help registering an agricultural compound, veterinary medicine (ACVM), or vertebrate toxic agent (VTA):
List of consultants under the ACVM Act 1997 [XLSX, 24 KB]
Note: ACVM consultants are not data assessors.
DISCLAIMER ON THE USE OF THESE LISTS
We provide these lists of consultants for your convenience.
They are lists of people who have told us they provide relevant consultancy services.
The people listed work independently of MPI. As such, MPI accepts no liability for their actions.
In providing the list, MPI does not endorse or recommend any person or organisation. You should make your own inquiries about the abilities of the people listed and engage them at your own cost and risk.
We do our best to ensure the information is accurate but there may be delays updating the lists.
Who to contact
If you have questions about hiring a food consultant, email firstname.lastname@example.org