Pacific community food safety

Find out about safely preparing Pacific dishes, bringing food from the Pacific Islands, and food safety during pregnancy.

Food safety when preparing and storing food

It’s important to prepare, store, and transport food safely to keep our friends and families safe. Our food safety guide (Umu Pasifika) has information on:

  • safely preparing, cooking, and serving food
  • safely preparing and storing Pacific delicacies (like umu, povi masima, palusami, and raw fish salad)
  • bringing food from overseas
  • safely storing leftovers.

Umu Pasifika - Food safety for Pacific peoples [PDF, 3.4 MB]

Bringing food from the Pacific Islands

Make sure you transport food properly to help ensure it stays safe to eat. Food should not be kept at room temperature for more than 2 hours. A trip overseas is long enough for food to go bad and make you sick.

The Umu Pasifika guide has more advice on safely storing and transporting food.

Check if you can bring your food into New Zealand

Remember to check first if you can bring your food into New Zealand. Some items are restricted.

Check if you can bring your food into New Zealand

Bringing umu packs to New Zealand

Umu packs must not contain:

  • clams
  • breadfruit – even if it’s cooked (because it can still contain fruit flies)
  • uncooked fruit and vegetables
  • meat that's not from a tin or a can.

Umu packs can contain:

  • shellfish (except for clams, and all shellfish must be dead and removed from their shells)
  • fish (which must be dead), and sea grapes
  • cooked fruit and vegetables (these will be checked at the airport to ensure it's cooked enough)
  • tinned meat (this is the only meat that can be brought into New Zealand).

Pregnancy and people with low immunity

Food like raw fish salad can be risky for pregnant women and people with low immunity.

Food safety during pregnancy

Food safety for people with low immunity

The Umu Pasifika guide also has specific advice for pregnant women.

Raw fish, povi masima, and umu

Check the Umu Pasifika guide for tips and advice on preparing and storing these Pacific foods more safely.

Who to contact

If you have questions about the information on this page, email

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