If you’re thinking of starting a new food business, there are a number of rules that must be followed to ensure you are making and selling safe and suitable food.
To run a business under the Food Act 2014 you must first register it, either with your local council or the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) before you begin.
A central feature of the new Food Act is a sliding scale where businesses that are higher risk, from a food point of view, will operate under more stringent food safety requirements and checks than lower risk food businesses. This means for example, that a business that reheats food to sell will not be treated in the same way as the manufacturer of the food.
Another feature of the new Food Act is it focuses on the processes of food production, not the premises where it was made.
Designed to enhance food safety, the Food Act introduces a number of other new food safety measures:
Food control plans (FCP’s) – 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 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 have developed a tool called ‘Where Do I Fit’ to help people work out where their new food business will fit within the new Food Act rules. By answering a series of questions people can simply and easily find out where their business fits under the Food Act and what they will need to do in order to comply with it.
Existing businesses (those that were already operating before 1 March 2016) have been going through a transition period since then, to ensure they are fully compliant with the new Food Act, by the deadline of 28 February 2019.
For further information please contact Tararua District Council, Ph: 06 374 4080 (north) or 06 376 0110 (south) www.tararuadc.govt.nz or MPI directly on 0800 00 83 33 Web: https://www.mpi.govt.nz