Food Act 2014

Changes under the Food Act 2014

The new Food Act has come into force on 1 March 2016.

This national legislation is about making sure that businesses prepare and sell food that is safe and suitable to eat.

Under the act, Auckland Council will continue to be the regulatory authority.

We will:

  • issue the registration for your food business
  • perform the food safety verifications.

Depending on the type of business, the Food Act requires that all food businesses register under one of the three options:

  • a template Food Control Plan (FCP)
  • a National Programme (NP)
  • a custom-made Food Control Plan.

Transition period

There is a transition period for these changes to take place.

During the first year (1 March 2016 to end of February 2017) all businesses within the food service and catering sectors with an alcohol on-licence (restaurants, takeaways, cafes/lunch bars, and catering businesses), will need to operate with a registered template FCP.

The transition for other types of food premises will follow according to a transition schedule.

View more information for existing businesses.  

For more information, see the Ministry for Primary Industries website or contact us.

What is a Food Control Plan (FCP)?

A template Food Control Plan (FCP) is a step by step guide on food safety procedures that can be tailored to suit the needs of your business.

It’s a management tool for food business operators.  It includes pre-printed records, forms and a diary.

Operating with the FCP will help your business meet its food safety and suitability requirements and demonstrate your commitment to food safety.

View the Ministry for Primary Industries' video to learn more about Food Control Plans.  

You can view or print the template FCP and diary from the Ministry for Primary Industries'  website.

How the new rules affect you

The Ministry for Primary Industries' tool Where Do I Fit? can help you work out where your food activity or business fits within the new Food Act rules.

Also, see how the new rules impact existing businesses.

Changes to home based businesses

Food businesses preparing food for sale in a home kitchen can do so as long as they:

You will also need to meet all other legal requirements such as home based area district plans, bylaws and other relevant acts and regulations.

You should consult our building and planning advisors before starting a commercial kitchen at home.

Contact us to talk to a building and planning advisor.

For more information see Guide for food premises operators 2016 (PDF 200KB).

Taking over an existing FCP or NP premises

A FCP and NP is non-transferable.

When a new owner takes over an existing food business they will either need to apply for a new FCP or NP depending on the scope of their business.

To find out which plan suits your business see the Ministry for Primary Industries' (MPI) website Where do I fit tool.

Training requirements for template FCP and NP

Food premises on FCP and NP are exempted from the training requirements under the Food Safety Bylaw 2013. Instead, training requirements will be outlined in your Food Control Plan.  

All your staff should have a good understanding of the FCP requirements related to their area of work.

The day-to-day manager must be familiar with and understand all the procedures in the FCP before training staff.

You will need to complete and sign a staff training record for each person who works in the business.

At present, the council is not approved to complete verifications of National Programmes. The food business must nominate a third party verifier to complete verification. 

This must be included on the application for registration.  For more information see MPI.

Grading for businesses on FCP

Food premises registered under an FCP are graded under the Auckland Council eatsafe scheme. For more information, see eatsafe Auckland.

The grading system for food premises registered under Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 remains unchanged.

How to apply for a re-grade

Food premises can apply for a re-grade. The current grade needs to remain in place for two months before you can apply for a re-grade. 

Food premises operating under a template Food Control Plan are not able to apply for a re-grade.

They are subject to an automatic re-grade, without the need to lodge and application, when they initially satisfy corrective action requests (CAR’s).

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