Food safety officers

Food safety officers (previously known as Food Act officers) are responsible for enforcing the Food Act. They investigate non-compliance and complaints regarding the safety and suitability of food. All food safety officers are employed by either MPI or a local council. Find out how to become a food safety officer, the skills you’ll need and what you need to do your job.

Training for food safety officers

MPI has developed online training modules for Food Safety Officers (FSOs). The training modules will help FSOs understand their role under the Food Act. Anyone who is applying to become a food safety officer must complete these modules. The modules are on Tiritiri (the MPI online training tool).

Apply to become a food safety officer

The Food Act requires officers doing certain duties or using various powers, for enforcement purposes, to be appointed under Section 276(1).

Food safety officers can carry out their role anywhere in New Zealand, as long as they are acting with the authority of their employers.

How to apply for appointment – Council staff

Council staff must complete an application to become an FSO. Your application must be endorsed by your employer.

To apply you need to complete 2 forms. The first form has several parts.

How to apply for appointment – MPI staff

For MPI staff, there is information on gaining statutory appointments detailed on Kotahi – the staff intranet. The information can be found by searching for 'statutory appointments'. 

What evidence must be provided?

All applicants will need to show they have the skills required to be a food safety officer. This must include:

  • a formal food-related qualification
  • a formal qualification relevant to hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP)
  • training in compliance fundamental skills
  • work experience in a regulatory compliance or relevant food industry role
  • knowledge of the Food Act 2014 and associated legislation
  • skills specific to food investigations under the Food Act 2014 and associated legislation.

Find out more about becoming qualified and being appointed [PDF, 638 KB]

Enforcement roles

Territorial authorities will investigate non-compliance and complaints regarding the safety and suitability of food in relation to food control plans or food businesses subject to national programmes for businesses registered by that territorial authority.

MPI will investigate complaints and non-compliance of businesses that are registered with MPI.

Reporting enforcement outcomes

Food safety officers and other authorised persons can report on the outcome of enforcement activities by using MPI's online system, Titiro.

To get access to Titiro, you'll need to complete an application form and have a RealMe account.

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