Poultry processing

All poultry meat businesses must meet legal requirements to ensure their products are safe and suitable for human consumption.

Requirements for poultry and poultry products

If you farm poultry for meat processing, or process, sell or export poultry products, you must meet legal requirements for food safety and suitability.

New Zealand's poultry industry is regulated by 3 food-related laws:

The legal requirements that apply to you depend on your business's activities: 

  • Poultry farmers must comply with the Animal Products Act 1999.
  • Primary processors must comply with the Animal Products Act 1999 and Food Act 2014.
  • Secondary processors must have a registered food control plan (FCP) under the Food Act 2014, or a registered risk management plan (RMP) under the Animal Products Act 1999 if they are exporting with an official assurance. 

Controlling risks

Different legislation controls risks in different ways, for example by requiring your business to have a risk management plan (RMP) or a food control plan (FCP).

You also need to comply with related legislation

If you need to comply with an Act, you also need to comply with any related legislation, such as Regulations, Orders, Specifications, Notices, and Standards. 

Finished products for human consumption

These must all comply with Part 1 and 2.2.1 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

Other legislation

You may also have to comply with:

Check which requirements apply to your business

If you are a...you must comply with......under this legislation
poultry farmer documented Whole Flock Health Scheme (WFHS) Human Consumption Specifications
requirements for vaccinations, medicines, and feeds Agricultural Compound and Veterinary Medicines Act 1997
primary processor (slaughter and dressing) a registered RMP Animal Products Act 1999
microbiological testing requirements NMD Specifications
visual examination requirements before and after slaughter Ante- and Post-Mortem Examination Specifications
general safety and suitability requirements Food Act 2014
Standard 2.2.1: Meat and Meat Products Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (FSC)
labelling and composition requirements for products Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (FSC)
secondary processor (cutting up, deboning, packaging)  general safety and suitability requirements Food Act 2014
Standard 2.2.1: Meat and Meat Products Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (FSC)
labelling and composition requirements for products Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (FSC)
secondary processor only  FCP or RMP Food Act 2014 or Animal Products Act 1999
secondary processor as well as a primary processor RMP (for primary processing) and RMP or FCP (for secondary processing) Animal Products Act 1999 or Food Act 2014 (for the secondary processing operations)
secondary processor who exports with an official assurance RMP Animal Products Act 1999

Operating under the Food Act

The Food Act 2014 came into force on 1 March 2016. The Act applies to all new food businesses that started from that date.

Existing businesses (registered under the Food Act 1981 or Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 before 29 February 2016) are making the transition between 2016 and 2019. Find out when your type of business has to start operating under the Act.

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