Food safety warning for home-kill meat

Media contact: MPI Media Phone
Telephone: 029 894 0328

The Ministry for Primary Industries is reminding people about the food safety risk of buying illegal home-kill meat for your Christmas roast.

MPI compliance officers shut down an illegal home-kill operation in Kaitaia in September, but fear this may be happening across the country.

Illegal home-kill includes meat that is bought direct from a stock owner, animals that are bought and slaughtered on site and animals that are bought and taken home for immediate slaughter.

MPI Compliance Operations Manager Gary Orr says illegal home-kill is not inspected for disease and buyers and consumers have no guarantee it has been processed hygienically.

“When meat isn’t processed hygienically and kept properly chilled there is potential for contamination and bacteria such as Campylobacter, Salmonella and E coli that can make people seriously sick.”

“Getting hit with an illness like that isn’t worth the price of cheap meat and would not be a great Christmas present for your family.”

Mr Orr says the serious food safety risk is reflected by the penalties in the Animal Products Act that range from fines up to $300,000 and imprisonment.

Home-kill meat can only be eaten by the animal’s owner, their immediate family and household, and those of their farm staff. It can be served on marae for traditional activities within iwi and hapu, but commercial operations on marae must use commercially processed meat.

Home-kill cannot be:

  • Sold, bartered, raffled or given away as a prize
  • Used by institutions such as boarding schools, universities, hospitals and prisons
  • Served to paying customers

To report any suspect illegal home-kill sales please contact the MPI Foodline 0800 693721.

All calls are confidential. 

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