Food safety


If you're planning on selling or supplying food, you need to register a food control plan or national programme with Council or New Zealand Food Safety.

The Food Act applies to all businesses that make, sell, grow or transport food commercially. It also applies to businesses that serve food, like school canteens or clubs. There are rules, too, for sausage sizzles, cake stalls and other fundraising or community events where you're selling or serving food. For everything you need to know about complying with the act or anything else to do with food safety, see the government's Food Safety website.

Registering a food business

All businesses selling food must be registered, either with New Zealand Food Safety or Council.

New Zealand Food Safety has an online tool called My Food Rules which helps you work out what rules you need to follow under the Food Act 2014. We recommend using it before getting registered. 

The same rules apply to your home kitchen business

Registration rules also apply if you’re using your home kitchen to make food products for commercial sale.

You’ll need to ensure your kitchen, ventilation, storage and refrigeration are fit for purpose so the food you produce is safe for people to eat.

You’ll also need to have a grease trap to stop fat, oil and grease for going into the sewer system. We’ve created some guidance for people thinking of starting their own home kitchen business.

Home kitchen business guide(PDF, 840KB)

If you require more information, please contact our Environmental Health team: email or 06 356 8199. 

Food business verification

A verification is a semi-formal meeting where you demonstrate how your business is complying with the requirements of the programme or plan that it's registered under. It will involve a mixture of questions from the verifier, requests to demonstrate food safety practices, and auditing of related records. This acts as a reality check of the premises.

Our aim is to help businesses reach compliance.

Registered food businesses must be verified either by Council or a third party. Lists of recognised third-party verifiers are available online:

Making a food complaint

To report a suspected food poisoning contact the Public Health Unit at MidCentral Health on 06 350 9110 or email

Please contact Council on 06 356 8199 or email, or New Zealand Food Safety on 0800 693 721 or to report any other food safety concerns including:

  • unclean food premises
  • foreign object found in food
  • presence of vermin
  • any other issue.

These agencies will be able to find out the registered owner of the business and respond to your concerns.

For information about food complaints, types of complaints, reporting food borne illnesses, and complaints investigated by other agencies, see the New Zealand Food Safety website.

Fundraising and community groups

You're not required to have a food control plan or national programme if you're selling food or fundraising fewer than 20 times per year.

Fundraising activities include sausage sizzles, raffles and charity events.

You will still need to make sure the food you're selling is safe and suitable to eat. Domestic kitchens may be used to prepare and cook food for fundraising.

For more information see the New Zealand Food Safety website.