Food Safety & Food Premises Registration

This section gives tips on improving food safety, as well as information on the registration of food premises.

Food Act 2014

Under the Food Act 2014, some food businesses will operate under stricter food safety requirements than others. The Act will also apply in different ways to education providers and community organisations depending on what they do. Case studies on the Ministry for Primary Industries website provide examples of how the Food Act might apply to you.

The Food Act 2014 came fully into force 1 March 2016. The MPI Food Safety website has information on the Act, application forms and Food Control Plan templates.

Where do I fit?

Where do I fit? is a handy tool from the Ministry for Primary Industries to find out what rules you need to follow under the Food Act 2014.

Food premises

When you have found the site at which you want to open a food premises, first check with the Waimakariri District Council planners to check that what you want to do is a permitted activity at that particular location.

You also need to check with our Building Unit that any building or plumbing works have the correct building consents.

New laws bring in new food safety measures that are risk-based and focus on the food production processes.

Registration of Food Premises

All food premises must comply with the Food Act 2014 to ensure safe food production.

An Environmental Health Officer can provide advice and do preliminary inspections at any stage of the development. Guidance can be found in the 2017 Food Control Plan Basics Pack, section 2.

When you are ready to register, you need to provide a copy of your site plan, the scope of operations (pdf, 377.2 KB), and the appropriate registration form (multiple sites (pdf, 310.1 KB) or single site (pdf, 377.2 KB) and submit to Council's Environmental Health Officers for approval. Fees apply. You don't need to provide a copy of your template Food Control Plan when registering. However, the Food Act 2014 requires a business to keep a copy of their plan for as long as their registration is effective.

A new resource is available from Ministry for Primary Industries to help you get started with your template Food Control Plan - Getting started with your template food control plan (pdf, 2.7 MB).

When a National Programme business applies to register with a Council they need to provide a site plan (physical design and layout), the scope of operations (pdf, 377.2 KB), and the appropriate registration form (multiple sites (pdf, 310.1 KB) or single site (pdf, 377.2 KB) and engage a verifier or verification agency and identify them in their application, and submit to Council's Environmental Health Officers for approval. To help you find a verifier, check the Food Safety website.

For a corner dairy that is part of the 'Retailers that handle food (but do not prepare or manufacture food)' sector you would look for an auditor who has the 'Retail Sale of Food' class of operation. An early childhood education service should select a verifier with the ‘eating houses (including takeaways)’ class of operation.

Food Act & Food Regulations

Home based businesses

There are a number of considerations to be aware of when operating a home-based business or a mobile shop. Click below for more information about rules and for other helpful resources.

What are the Rules?

If you want to set up a home business you need to consider:

  • zoning - whether you can operate your business in your area
  • if you need to modify your building to accommodate the business
  • signage rules
  • food handling requirements (if you are going to operate a food business)
  • getting the appropriate licence to operate.

Start by speaking to one of our planners about zoning and checking with our licensing team if you need a licence to operate. These meetings are free and can be held over the phone, or in person.

Contact us on 0800 965 468 (0800WMKGOV) to arrange a meeting or to speak to a planner or someone from our licensing team.

Running a Home Based Food Business

If you want to prepare food for customers at home, there are several factors to think about.

Your site and equipment

  • If you are renting the property, do you have the landlord's permission to operate a business from the site?
  • Do you need to apply for a resource consent? To find out, call us on 0800 965 468 (0800WMKGOV) and ask for the planning helpdesk.
  • Do you need to apply for a building consent? To find out, call us on 0800 965 468 (0800WMKGOV) and ask for the building helpdesk.
  • Will your kitchen equipment and storage facilities be suitable for doing the things you plan to do?
    Is there a place to wash your hands before you start preparing food?

Preparation and storage of food

  • Is there enough space in your fridge and in your pantry to properly store the amount of food you plan to make?
  • How will you keep family food separate from commercial food?
  • How will you store ingredients containing allergens separate from allergen-free food for sale?
  • How will you ensure that other activities at home will not compromise when commercial food is being prepared?
  • How will you transport the food safely?

Keeping food safe

  • Do you know enough to make sure the food you sell is safe?
  • Will everyone working at the business know how to handle the food safely?
  • How will you operate when there are sick family members at home?

Inspections of home-based businesses

  • As with any local food business operating from a commercial premises, an Environmental Health Officer or verifier will need to visit your home regularly to check you are following your food control plan or  national programme.
  • Details of your home-based business will be placed on the public register of food businesses.

Mobile Shops

Mobile shops selling food must comply with the requirements set out in the Food Act 2014 and need to have current registration with Waimakariri District Council or any other council.

If you are considering running a sausage sizzle, read the booklet Hot tips for a safe and successful sausage sizzle (pdf, 404.3 KB).

Hand Washing and Cleaning for Stall Holders

A simple system for providing a hand-wash facility can be made using a chair, a 20 litre container for the water supply and a bucket under to catch the waste. The photo on the right shows a minimal satisfactory hand-washing set-up with a container of cold water on a chair with a tap draining into a bucket (so you can wash your hands in running water, which is better than just in a bowl). You should also bring hot water (minimum 2 litre thermos) if you need to wash any greasy items or if you need warm water to wash your hands. Also bring enough utensils to last the duration of the event.

To clean food contact surfaces you can use proprietary food surface cleaners in a plastic bottle with spray nozzle and a paper towel.

Other Information and Resources

There are lots of handy resources in the 'Useful Links and Resources' section including: cleaning schedule charts, food control plans, food labelling guides, a nutrition panel calculator...just to name a few.

You'll also find information about the rules of selling honey and feeding food waste to pigs.

Useful Links and Resources

Cleaning schedule charts

Our Environmental Health Officers can provide food operators with cleaning schedule charts (pdf, 145.3 KB). These detail the advantages of having a cleaning schedule, what a schedule should include, cleaning frequencies and examples of cleaning schedule charts.

Licensing and Control of Honey Sales

Honey for sale must be extracted and packed in a premises that is either:

  • registered under the Food Act 2014 or the Food Hygiene Regulations 1974, or
  • has an approved 'Risk Management Programme' required under the Animal Products Act 1999.

All honey sold must be labelled in accordance with the Australian and New Zealand Food Standard Code.

Restrictions on Feeding Meat and Food Waste to Pigs

All food waste that contains meat or has come into contact with meat must be treated before it is fed to pigs. The Ministry for Primary Industries website has details on these restrictions and treatment of food waste. If you supply food waste for feeding to pigs, we recommend that you obtain an undertaking from the person you supply the food waste, stating that it will be treated according to the rules before it is fed to pigs. You can use the MPI undertaking for food waste collection template (pdf, 195.8 KB) for this undertaking.

Tips for Improving Food Safety

There are simple practices that any food operator can adopt to improve food safety:

  • Use separate chopping boards for raw and cooked foods and adequately clean them to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Properly cover food in fridges to prevent contamination. Be especially careful to ensure juice from raw meat doesn't spill onto cold meats, cheese and vegetables.
  • Keep fridge temperatures at a maximum temperature of 4o Celsius to stop bacteria from flourishing.
  • Store hot food at temperatures over 60o Celsius.