Pacific communities

Follow our guide to transporting, preparing and cooking food, including umu. Also find out how to keep food safe when taking it to and from the Pacific Islands.

Food safety when preparing and cooking food

Safe food handling and food hygiene practices are important with all food. This includes umu, a traditional Pacific Island way of cooking food.

The guide Umu Pasifika provides information about:

  • buying, transporting, storing, preparing, cooking and serving food, including umu and Pacific delicacies like povi masima and raw fish salad
  • how to minimise food safety risks, including when keeping leftovers
  • food safety issues relevant to Pacific peoples. This includes bringing in food from the Pacific Islands that can go bad, like palusami, seafood, and umu packs.

The guide is available in English, Samoan, Tongan, Cook Island Māori, and Niuean.

Download Umu Pasifika - Food Safety for Pacific Peoples [PDF, 3.4 MB]

Taking food to and from the Pacific Islands

When taking food to and from the Pacific Islands, you need to make sure the food stays safe to eat. You also need to be aware of any regulations you may need to meet to bring the food into the country.

Food should not be kept at room temperature for more than 2 hours. A trip between New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, including travel to and from airports, is enough time for food to go bad and make people who eat it sick.

Who to contact

If you have questions about food safety, email

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