Register a Food Business

Depending on the scope of your food business, you will need to register to operate under either a Food Control Plan (FCP) or a National Programme (NP). To find out which plan suits your business see the Ministry for Primary Industries' (MPI) website's Where Do I Fit tool.

The following Food Control Plans or National Programmes could be registered with us:

  • Three levels of National Programmes, depending on the degree of food safety (medium to lower risk food processes/activities) associated with the food business. 
    • Level 3 for higher risk (NP L3).
    • Level 2 for medium risk (NP L2).
    • Level 1 for lower risk (NP L1).

You could also develop your own custom food control plan and register it as a custom food control plan with MPI.

How to apply

Submit the forms with supporting documents and fee to us. We may request further information and/or arrange for on-site visit prior to the registration being granted.

Purchasing a food business?

Contact us and speak to an Environmental Health Officer before you purchase an existing food business that is registered under:

  • MPI Template Food Control Plan: Food Service and Food Retail sector or
  • National Programme.

Food Control Plans and National Programmes cannot be transferred. When a new owner takes over an existing food business they will need to apply for a new FCP or NP depending on the scope of their business.

If you are planning to make structural changes to an existing food premises then you need to contact us to speak to a Building Inspector.

Compliance checks

All food businesses MUST be verified (audited) to check compliance with the act. The operator of a new food business that is subject to a template Food Control Plan or National Programme must ensure that the plan and the food business are verified within one month of registration. 

After the initial verification, further verifications are required to be done within the following timeframes:

  • Template Food Control Plans: at least once a year as long as the results of previous verifications are of an acceptable standard.
  • National Programmes
    • Level 3 (higher risk): verification will be required at least once every two years as long as the results of previous verifications are of an acceptable standard.
    • Level 2 (medium risk): verification will be required at least once every three years as long the results of previous verifications are of an acceptable standard and no compliance matters exist against the business.
    • Level 1 (lower risk): no subsequent verifications are required unless the initial verification resulted in an unacceptable outcome, or compliance matters exist.

We are a recognised agency under the Food Act to verify Template Food Control Plans and some National Programmes. If you register a National Programme, you have the option to use a third-party auditor. See the MPI's Recognised Agencies or Persons list.

New food business? How we can help

In addition to our Environmental Health Team, you can also work with our planning and building consents teams to ensure you meet all the relevant health and building regulations.

The Planning Team can offer advice on our District Plan and information on parking requirements, advertising and likely future patterns of development in that area.

Building Consent Officers can help with construction requirements, change of use conditions, grease traps, plumbing and drainage, egress, number of sanitary fixtures and access for disabled people. A building consent will be required for any work done.

The Environmental Health Officers can provide information on health requirements, inspections and the issue of registration to sell food.

Contact us for more information.

Alcohol licensing

If you intend to sell alcohol on your premises or have patrons bring alcohol for consumption on the premises while dining, you will need to apply for the appropriate licence as a requirement of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. Alcohol cannot be sold until a separate licence has been obtained.

Smoke-free Environments Act 1990

This act prohibits any person to smoke in the indoor area of a hospitality venue. This includes indoor workplaces, restaurants, cafes, eateries, casinos or gaming machine rooms and licensed premises. 

An indoor area is enclosed by walls, sides, screens or similar surfaces (including closable openings such as windows and doors) and an overhead surface such as a ceiling. Open decks, verandas, gardens and open-sided gazebos are not considered "indoors" so  the smoke-free provisions do not apply. In this instance, proprietors may choose to allow people to smoke in these areas.