Thinking of starting a new food business?

Starting a new food business can be exciting but there are rules to follow. These steps will help ensure you are making and selling food in a safe and suitable way.

Step 1: Find out the rules

You need to follow the rules for your type of food business. There are different rules depending on how many risks you need to manage in making and selling your food type.

Our online tool called 'Where Do I Fit?' will tell you what you need to do.

Step 2: Create a plan to make safe food

You will need to follow a plan for making and selling safe food. Use the templates in our forms and templates section to help make a plan. The plan you need to complete depends on the rules you need to follow. You will find these from step one.

You will need make sure everyone in your business follows the plan. 

Step 3: Register your business

All food businesses need to be registered before you start making and selling food. There are 2 options for registering – either with MPI or with your local council. The Where Do I Fit? tool will tell you where to register.

Step 4: Get checked

Once you have a plan or programme in place, you will need to get everything checked by a person (a verifier) to ensure you are making and selling safe and suitable food.

Video: What's a verification? (1:28)

[Jazz background music, narrator talks while a hand can be seen drawing a cartoon of a chef.]

0:00 So, you’re wanting to start a food business, and all that’s on your mind is just making the food and making some money.

0:08 However, before you do that you need to register with your council or with MPI.

0:13 And then get it checked. Right? Right.

0.16 So listen up! This check-up or properly known as a food safety verification shows that you can demonstrate safe food practices, have an understanding for food safety, and you practise it every day.

[A hand draws a chef in a kitchen with another person. A folder titled 'Food safety verification' is on the bench.]

0:28 Why? Because if you don’t make safe food, people get sick [sound of flies, sick sound], they blame it on the last thing they ate, they complain to the council, they complain to their friends, they complain online, and essentially tarnish the reputation of your business.

[Drawing of a building with an "Out of business" sign across it.]

0:42 Food safety is absolutely crucial for keeping both your customers and your business safe.

0:48 But how do you know if you’re keeping food safe so you can pass your verification?

0:52 Your local food safety verifiers are here to coach you along the way and suggest tips and tricks to make sure you’re getting your food safety right.

[Drawing of a chef talking to verifier with speech bubbles saying "Does this look right", "If this happens again what should I do?", "What's the legal requirement for...", "How do I check for pests?", "How can I do this better?".] 

1:00 Get to know them, ask them questions, and take in all you can from your verifier session.

1:06 With a good understanding of food safety, you can spend more time making safe food and less time with your verifier.

1:12 Happy belly, happy customer. [belch sound]

1:16 For a more in depth look at what happens at a verification, check out our next video. 

[Video of an egg being broken into a frying pan with a title across it saying "Food Act 2014".]

[End of transcript]

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