Risk management programmes (RMP) for poultry food safety

Your risk management programme (RMP) documents how you operate your business, to ensure you meet the requirements of the Animal Products Act and your products are fit for their intended purpose.

If you're a primary processor of poultry, you must operate under a registered risk management programme (RMP). Some secondary processors must also operate under an RMP. In general:

  • if you're a primary processor, you must operate under a registered RMP
  • if you're a secondary processor and need to have an official assurance to export your products, you must operate under a registered RMP
  • if you're a secondary processor and you choose to operate under an RMP, these RMP requirements will also apply to you.

However, you don't need an RMP if you:

  • primary process muttonbirds
  • farm poultry for meat
  • secondary process poultry under the Food Act – unless you're exporting with an official assurance.

See the full list of exemptions:

If you need an RMP, you must get it approved and registered by MPI before you start processing.

Developing your RMP

You can base your poultry RMP on the RMP template and Poultry processing code of practice or you can write your own, using the RMP manual as a guide.

Read more about RMPs:

Model RMP 

If you're a primary processor of poultry, you can use the draft RMP model developed by MPI and the Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand (PIANZ) as a base for your RMP. This draft uses broilers as an example. If you process other types of poultry, you'll need to adapt it to suit.

Poultry processing code of practice

If you operate under an RMP or if you are an RMP verifier, you need to refer to the poultry processing code of practice (COP), which clarifies the minimum requirements for poultry processing. It provides practical examples of ways you can meet requirements. If you don't cover something in your RMP, then you are assumed to be following the COP.

If you want to do something differently from the COP, then you need to write this into your RMP and get it registered. If procedures in your RMP are significantly different from those in the COP, you may need to get it validated and evaluated before it can be registered.

You can also use the Poultry processing COP to develop procedures for a food control plan (FCP).

Note that the current COP does not cover all poultry processing activities. More activities will be added as these sections are developed.

The COP is a joint publication of PIANZ (the Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand) and NZFSA (now MPI).

HACCP plan

If you're exporting to a country that requires you to have a hazard and critical control points plan (HACCP plan), you can use a generic plan as a guide for developing your own plan. However, it is very important that you customise your HACCP plan to your specific product, process, and premises. (Note that this document is currently being updated.)

If you export, you must ensure that your HACCP plan includes any overseas market requirements.


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