Existing Businesses


The Food Act 2014 promotes food safety by focussing on the processes of food production and not the premises where it is made.

The new act has a sliding scale where businesses that are higher risk, from a food safety point of view, will operate under more stringent food safety requirements than lower-risk food businesses. Depending on the type of business you have, you may:

  • need to operate under a Food Control Plan (FCP)
  • need to operate under a National Programme (NP)
  • be exempt (i.e. not need to operate under a FCP or NP)

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


When do I need to transition?

Existing businesses will transition to the new act between 2016 and 2019. When you need to transition depends on the type of business you have.

You can choose to transition any time between 1 March 2016 and the end of your listed transition period.

Transition timetable

Transition periods for food control plans and national programmes are listed below.

Food control plans

1 March 2016 to 30 June 2017

Apply by 31 March 2017.

Food service sector, with an alcohol licence:

  • restaurants
  • cafes
  • caterers
  • hotels. 

You need to register a custom made food control plan with MPI if you manufacture:

  • food for vulnerable populations
  • fresh ready-to-eat salads
  • non-shelf stable sauces, spreads, dips, soups, broths, gravies or dressings.

Apply by 31 March 2017.

Food service sector, with an alcohol licence:

  • restaurants
  • cafes
  • caterers
  • hotels. 

You need to register a custom made food control plan with MPI if you manufacture:

  • food for vulnerable populations
  • fresh ready-to-eat salads
  • non-shelf stable sauces, spreads, dips, soups, broths, gravies or dressings.

1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018

Apply by 31 March 2018.

Food service sector, without an alcohol licence:

  • cafes
  • takeaways
  • caterers
  • accommodation businesses
  • hospitals
  • residential care and educational facilities
  • prisons.

Food retailers who prepare or manufacture and sell food:

  • retail butchers
  • fishmongers
  • delis
  • supermarkets.

You need to register a custom made food control plan with MPI if you manufacture:

  • meals and prepared food
  • commercially sterilised food products
  • meat, poultry or fish products
  • dairy products
  • processed egg products.

Apply by 31 March 2018.

Food service sector, without an alcohol licence:

  • cafes
  • takeaways
  • caterers
  • accommodation businesses
  • hospitals
  • residential care and educational facilities
  • prisons.

Food retailers who prepare or manufacture and sell food:

  • retail butchers
  • fishmongers
  • delis
  • supermarkets.

You need to register a custom made food control plan with MPI if you manufacture:

  • meals and prepared food
  • commercially sterilised food products
  • meat, poultry or fish products
  • dairy products
  • processed egg products.

1 July 2018 to 28 February 2019

Apply by 30 November 2018 

  • Businesses who adopted a food control plan early under our Voluntary Implementation Programme (VIP).

You need to register a custom made food control plan with MPI if you manufacture:

  • vegetable protein and other protein products.

Apply by 30 November 2018 

  • Businesses who adopted a food control plan early under our Voluntary Implementation Programme (VIP).

You need to register a custom made food control plan with MPI if you manufacture:

  • vegetable protein and other protein products.

National programme 3

1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018

Apply by 31 March 2018

  • Retailers who handle food (but do not prepare or manufacture food).
  • Manufactures of:
    • non-alcoholic beverages.
    • food additives, processing aids, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients intended to be added to food
    • processers of herbs or spices.

Apply by 31 March 2018

  • Retailers who handle food (but do not prepare or manufacture food).
  • Manufactures of:
    • non-alcoholic beverages.
    • food additives, processing aids, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients intended to be added to food
    • processers of herbs or spices.

1 July 2018 to 28 February 2019

Apply by 30 November 2018

  • Grain processors.
  • Manufacturers of:
    • dry mix powders
    • oils and fats for human consumption
    • vinegar, alcoholic beverages or malt extract.
    • brewers
    • distillers
    • grain processors

Apply by 30 November 2018

  • Grain processors.
  • Manufacturers of:
    • dry mix powders
    • oils and fats for human consumption
    • vinegar, alcoholic beverages or malt extract.
    • brewers
    • distillers
    • grain processors

National programme 2

1 March 2016 to 30 June 2017

Apply by 31 March 2017

  • Processers of nuts or seeds.
  • food services to pre-school children (including children under 5 years) in a centre-based setting.

Apply by 31 March 2017

  • Processers of nuts or seeds.
  • food services to pre-school children (including children under 5 years) in a centre-based setting.

1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018

Apply by 31 March 2018

  • Retailers of manufacturer-packaged chilled and frozen food (excluding ice cream and iced confectionery).
  • Bakeries that prepare or manufacture bread or bread-derived products only.
  • Manufacturers of confectionery.

Apply by 31 March 2018

  • Retailers of manufacturer-packaged chilled and frozen food (excluding ice cream and iced confectionery).
  • Bakeries that prepare or manufacture bread or bread-derived products only.
  • Manufacturers of confectionery.

1 July 2018 to 28 February 2019

Apply by 30 November 2018

  • Manufacturers of:
    • shelf-stable grain-based products
    • crisps, popcorn, pretzels, soy crisps or similar snack products
    • dried or dehydrated fruit or vegetables
    • water-based products including ice, iced confectionery and desserts
    • shelf-stable condiments (including sauces, spreads and preserves)
    • frozen fruit and vegetables.

Apply by 30 November 2018

  • Manufacturers of:
    • shelf-stable grain-based products
    • crisps, popcorn, pretzels, soy crisps or similar snack products
    • dried or dehydrated fruit or vegetables
    • water-based products including ice, iced confectionery and desserts
    • shelf-stable condiments (including sauces, spreads and preserves)
    • frozen fruit and vegetables.

National programme 1

1 July 2018 to 28 February 2019

Apply by 30 November 2018

  • Retailers of hot beverages and shelf-stable manufacturer-packaged foods only.
  • Retailers of manufacturer-packaged ice cream and iced confectionery.
  • Manufacture sugar or related products.
  • Extract and pack honey.
  • Transport or distribute food products.
  • Produce horticultural food and horticultural packing operations (pack houses).

Apply by 30 November 2018

  • Retailers of hot beverages and shelf-stable manufacturer-packaged foods only.
  • Retailers of manufacturer-packaged ice cream and iced confectionery.
  • Manufacture sugar or related products.
  • Extract and pack honey.
  • Transport or distribute food products.
  • Produce horticultural food and horticultural packing operations (pack houses).

 If you operate multiple food activities

Some food businesses carry out many different types of food activities (e.g. supermarket with a bakery).

When this happens, your business can choose whether to use a mix of food control plans and national programmes, or whether to use just one of these.

If you choose to use a single system, it must be at the highest level.