The new Food Act 2014

Are you prepared for the new Food Act?

The new Food Act 2014 comes into force on the 1st March 2016.

To be compliant under the new Food Act, some of you won’t need to do anything straight away, others will need to start complying with the new rules sooner. Please take a look at the transitional dates below that apply to your business.

Food Control Plan - Two versions available

The Ministry for Primary Industries have developed a new format for their Food Control Plan which aims to be more user friendly. Two versions of the template food control plan are available.

  • Simply safe and suitable template (includes a tool to help you work out which parts apply to your business).
  • Food control plan: Food service and food retail (based on an earlier version of the template with more detail).

Choose the template that you think will work best for your business. Start your Food Control Plan here.

About the Food Act 2014

For those of you who don’t know about the new Act, it is designed to update and improve New Zealand’s food safety rules, moving from a one-size-fits-all approach to one that provides businesses with more flexibility to better manage their food safety risk in a way that suits their business. Higher risk activities will have to meet the highest level of regulation to ensure their food is safe, while lower risk activities will have fewer requirements. 

What it means for you

If you cook and serve food you’ll probably need a food control plan. This is the highest level of regulation, because there are a number of risks that need to be managed when handling raw food or preparing meals. It involves identifying possible risks to food safety, and setting out a written plan to manage them. If you do lower risk activities, like selling pre-packaged food or making tea and coffee, you’ll operate under a national programme. This means you won’t need a written plan, but you'll have to meet certain requirements, including those for producing safe and suitable food. 

When do you need to make changes

From 1st March 2016 all new businesses need to follow the new rules. If you are an existing business you will have more time to change over to the new Act. Different businesses will transition at different times over a three-year period.

If you’re a restaurant, bar or hotel with an on premise licence, you’ll be among the first to move to the new rules, between 1 March 2016 and 30 June 2017. You'll need to apply to register by 31 March 2017.

If you are part of the Voluntarily Implementation Programme (VIP), an initiative between MPI and local councils to introduce businesses to using a written plan for food safety, then you have until 28 February 2019 to transition to the new Act.

How does the new Food Act apply to your business?

Click here and find out where your business fits?

For more information and support

Any queries or further assistance please contact your Regional Manager on 0800 500 503 or view MPI’s Food Act 2014 information here.

Food Control Plan Implementation Module


Hospitality New Zealand members can access this Online Learning Module created by Intuto which guides you through the requirements and implementation process of a Food Control Plan required under the Food Act 2014.

The purpose of this module is to help you:

  • recognise the legal requirements for operating a Food Control Plan
  • identify the role of the Environmental Health Officer (EHO)
  • restate what a Food Control Plan template is
  • complete the records required within the Food Control Plan
  • implement the Food Control Plan into your business
  • understand the financial benefits and other advantages of operating safely

Hospitality New Zealand members may click the button below to learn more...

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