Food Safety Changes in New Zealand

Posted by Craig Thornton

Under the NZ Food Act 2014, More Food Businesses Must Register before 31 March 2018

Time is running out if you are a food business in New Zealand.

In a staged approach, more and more food businesses must register with either a local council or with the Ministry of Primary of Primary Industries.

The next batch of companies are due for registration before 31st March 2018.  These are:

  • cafes and clubs without an alcohol licence
  • bakeries
  • caterers
  • rest homes
  • dairies
  • convenience stores
  • some food manufacturers, e.g. makers of fresh pasta, and chilled or frozen meals and desserts. 

How do you know whether you fit into one of these groups, and you haven't registered, here is the official list.

Here is how you fit and how to register.


Here is a quick breakdown on the changes to food safety in New Zealand.

The Food Act 2014 changed the way businesses must manage food preparation and sales. It is designed to make sure that food sold in New Zealand is safe by:

  • Using a sliding scale so businesses with complex food safety risks, e.g. some food manufacturers, have stricter controls than lower-risk businesses, e.g. a corner dairy that reheats meat pies for sale.
  • Focusing on the processes of food production, not the premises where the food is made, e.g. so both a food truck and a restaurant must show how they keep food safe.
  • Introducing new food safety measures based on risk ratings:
    • Higher-risk businesses often have a written plan explaining how they manage food safety on a day-to-day basis.
    • Medium and low-risk businesses often follow national programmes — they don’t need a written plan but must follow some rules and be able to explain what they do to keep food safe.

Whether you’re under a food control plan or a national programme, you still need to register, meet the standards, keep some records and get checked. 




Tags: Food Safety, Food Act 2014