Food Safety for Food Sellers

Ensuring the food you make or sell is safe and suitable is important for all food businesses.  Checking your food safety programme is working well is a major part of providing your customers safe food and meeting your regulatory requirements.

Food Safety and Suitability

Under the Food Act 2014, it is the responsibility of a business owner to ensure the food they provide to customers is safe and suitable, even if they employ others to help manage food safety.

Food Safety is about preventing illness or injury caused by food.

Food Suitability is about making sure food meets the expectations of customers, and does not contain anything unexpected or offensive.

Taking responsibility for food safety means you understand the food safety risks  in your business, and take steps to manage those risks.

National Programmes

Lower risk food businesses meet the requirements of the Food Act 2014 by operating a National Programme.  There are several requirements for businesses operating under a National Programme. You must register your business, get verified, and notify your registration authority of any significant changes to your business.  You don't need a written plan, but you must follow the food safety and suitability rules, have trained and competent staff to achieve safe and suitable food, keep the required documents or records for at least 4 years and make sure the records are readily available,

Template Food Control Plans

Anyone who supplies food that is a high food safety risk needs to operate a registered Food Control Plan. MPI has created templates Food Control Plans for use by cheesemakers, food service and food retail businesses.  Additionally, there are a number of industry-created templates available. The templates are written plans that set out the things you need to do to make sure the food you are selling is safe and suitable. 

Custom Food Control Plans

You may wish to write your own food safety and suitability rules and create a custom food control plan specifically for your business.

Self Verification

Self verification, to ensure you are supplying safe and suitable food, is a requirement of National Programmes and Food Control Plans,  If you wait to be told by your verifier that your programme is not working, you may make people sick, or have to recall food.

​Food Safety Training

One of the key factors in managing food safety is training your staff in how to keep food safe. All workers need to understand and comply with your National Programme or Food Control Plan.

QEC—Better Safer Business

QEC has specialist, technical knowledge in food safety to help your write your custom Food Control Plan.  If you are using a template Food Control Plan, we can work with you to select the right template sections for your business.

Whether you operate under a National Programme, template or custom Food Control Plan, we can work with you to ensure you implement your plan effectively as part of your self checking, identifying any issues and improvements to ensure food is safe and suitable, and achieve acceptable outcomes in your verification audits and reduce your verification costs.

MPI may update the Food Control Plan templates based on feedback from industry and verifiers or changes in requirements.  Keeping your plan up to date is important, to ensure you are using the latest  information to meet your legal obligation to provide safe and suitable food.  QEC can keep you updated with any changes that relate to your business, and keep your documentation current.

As an NZQA registered PTE, we can train your staff and award unit standards in food safety


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