Food and Environmental Health Licensing
Food Act 2014
The Food Act 2014 became operational on 1 March 2016.
The Food Act 2014 takes a common-sense approach to food safety.
Everyone working in the food industry has a responsibility to make sure that the food we buy is safe and suitable to eat. The Food Act 2014 takes a new approach to managing food safety.
The new Act promotes food safety by focusing on the processes of food production, not the premises where food is made. For example, someone who makes and sells food from a food truck must follow the same rules as someone who makes and sells food at a restaurant.
The Act brings in new food safety measures:
- Food control plans (FCPs) – written plans for managing food safety on a day-to-day basis. These are used by higher risk businesses
- National programmes – a set of food safety rules for medium and low risk businesses. If you're under a national programme, you don't need a written plan (or develop written procedures), but must register, meet food safety standards, keep some records, and get checked.
MPI has developed a tool—Where Do I Fit?—to help you work out where your food activity or business fits within the new Food Act rules. By answering a series of questions you can find out what you'll need to do to comply with the Act.
The new law depends on the type of food you make, rather than where you make it. If you run a food truck, a market stall, or a home kitchen, you will follow the same rules as someone making the same food at a restaurant or café.
Anyone starting a new business must register under the Food Act 2014 before they start selling food.
Existing businesses (operating before 1 March 2016) will shift to the new Act between 2016 and 2019. Use the timetable link below to find out when your type of food business has to transition.
If you are considering starting a food business in the Hurunui, in new or existing premises, you may want to view our general advice leaflet.
Use the timetable.
Use the Where do I fit? tool
Food Control Plan (FCP) and Template FCP information
Application Form for Food Act 2014
Scope of Operations For Template Food Control Plan
Templates for Food Control Plans
- Food Act 2014 - Recognised Person List for Verification of National Programme
- Food Act 2014 - Recognised Agency List for Verification of National Programme
Exemptions from plans or programmes
Under the Food Act 2014, some food businesses and community groups are not required to operate under a food control plan or a national programme.
Who doesn't need a food control plan or programme?
Food activities that are low risk, either because they don't happen often or cater to only a small number of people, don't need to operate under a food control plan or a national programme. This applies to some fundraising and community group food activities, and some businesses.
Fundraising and community group exemptions
You don't need a food control plan or programme if you are:
- selling food for fundraising less than 20 times a year. Fundraising activities include sausage sizzles, raffles and charity events
- sharing food with others at sports clubs, social clubs or marae where food is not the purpose of the event. For example, providing nibbles at a bowling club games night or serving food at a tangi.
How do businesses renew their FCP registration?
It's over a year since the new Food Act came into effect!
That means the date for some businesses to renew their registration is also coming up. Here’s some information that might help:
1. The Act only allows businesses to renew their registration while it is current. That could create additional expense for businesses if they wait until their registration has expired and then have to submit a new application.
2. The Operator should confirm, as a minimum, that these details are accurate/up-to-date:
- Registration type / scope of operation
- Legal name / trading name
- Day-to-day manager
- Physical location
- Contact details.
We at the Council will do our best to remind you that your business is coming up for renewal in good time, so you can confirm all this and pay before the expiry date.
Improved food safety compliance system
The new Act includes a better compliance system. Generally, food businesses that consistently provide safe and suitable food can achieve lower compliance costs.
Most food businesses will be checked periodically (by a verifier) to ensure they are operating safely.
Better consumer protection
Under the Food Act 2014, food safety officers from the Ministry for Primary Industries and local authorities have been given more effective tools for protecting consumers from:
- unsafe food
- businesses that fail to identify allergens in their products
- unethical food operators
- misleading or inaccurate labelling.
Because the Act brings in infringement offences (instant fines), officers have the power to quickly and effectively deal with minor offences.
New infringement tools for food safety officers
Businesses are encouraged to voluntarily meet the requirements of the Food Act 2014 – they need to provide safe and suitable food. However, if there are problems with a food business, a food safety officer may get involved. They can draw on a wide range of tools to address any problems, including:
- Infringement offences (instant fines) for minor offences.
- Improvement notices and notices of direction. These require business operators to improve food safety without costly court action.
- Powers for food safety officers to interrupt operations when necessary to assist in an investigation.
- Powers to close or restrict the use of a place if food safety or suitability is threatened.
- Compliance orders that can be issued by a District Court to compel business operators to take certain actions.
- Significant increases in penalties for the most serious food safety offences.
Usually, minor issues can be dealt with by food safety officers providing suitable advice. If more serious issues are found a graduated response is taken. Officers may issue directions, infringement notices, or for particularly serious offences initiate a prosecution. More information about infringement offences (instant fines) is in the Food Regulations 2015.
Hairdressers, Camping Grounds and Offensive Trades.
Certificates of registration expire on the 30th June each year.
Premises are registered and inspected Annually. At the beginning of June each year, businesses that have a current licence with Council will be forwarded a renewal form.