Choices for managing risk

Making food and drink in New Zealand is covered by 3 different laws. Some food businesses will have a choice of which food safety rules work best for them.

Unsure where you fit?

If you're unsure whether your business has regulation choices, use our online tool – My food rules.

Overlap between the Food Act and the Animal Products Act

The types of food covered by the Food Act and the Animal Products Act 1999 overlap:

  • The Food Act generally applies to anything that is food for sale.
  • The Animal Products Act applies to animal products that humans or animals eat.

Under both Acts, food businesses are required to operate under risk management systems. For the Animal Products Act these are:

For the Food Act they are:

Where food businesses make products that are covered under both Acts, they may be able to operate under one risk management system registered across both Acts.

However, whatever system they use, they will still have to comply with the requirements of both Acts that apply to them.

For example, if a business produces cheese for the domestic market and chooses to operate under a food control plan (under the Food Act), they still need to make sure they are meeting the requirements of the Animal Products Act. The food control plan that they register will need to reflect all these requirements.

Exporters of animal products

Note, if you export animal products or intend to in the future, you should work with the Animal Products Act.

Overlap with the Wine Act 2003

There is also an overlap between the Food Act 2014 and the Wine Act 2003. Wine is defined as any grape wine, fruit wine, vegetable wine, or mead.

Under the Food Act, winemakers who also sell food and do not export wine, can apply to MPI to operate under a registered food control plan or national programme for all their activities. But they'll still have to comply with the requirements of both Acts.

Note, wine exporters must work with the Wine Act 2003.

Find out more about exporting:

When multiple activities give you a choice

Some food businesses carry out many different types of food activities. The different activities may be covered by different provisions in the Food Act 2014.

When this happens, your business can choose whether to use a mix of food control plans and national programmes, or whether to use just one of these risk-based systems.

However, if you choose to use a single system, it must be at the highest level.

For example, a delicatessen will need to operate under a food control plan under the Food Act. If this business also runs a food delivery service, they might choose to operate that part of the business under National Programme 1. But if they decide a single system works best for them, then they will bring the delivery service into their food control plan—the highest level.

Who to contact

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

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