Food Safety Verification for
Food Sellers


Food Safety Verification for Food Sellers

Food Act risk based measures, such as a Food Control Plan or National Programmes are proportional to the risks that are present in the business which may impact food safety and suitability. Businesses need a greater understanding of the risks present in their businesses and can select the way in which they are managed.

Go to the Ministry for Primary Industries website and use the “My Food Rules”  to get right information about the plan or programme you need to use.

​National Programmes

Lower risk food businesses meet the requirements of the Food Act 2014 by operating a National Programme.  You are required to register your business, meet the food safety standards, keep some records, and have your food programme verified to ensure you are producing safe and suitable food. 

Working with a national programme is the way that lower-risk food businesses operate under the Food Act 2014. Find out how to set up and register your business under a national programme. To find out more information on the national programmes please visit the Ministry of Primary Industries website
There are three levels of National Programme.

National Programme 1

National Programme 1 is for the lowest risk food businesses, e.g. honey extractors or packers, growers of fresh fruit and vegetables, sellers of packaged ice creams or ice blocks etc.

National Programme 2

National Programme 2 is for medium risk food businesses, e.g., bakers of bread,  manufacturers of chips, popcorn and other snack foods, sellers of chilled or frozen foods, servers of food at early childhood education centres.

National Programme 3

National Programme 3 is used by businesses with a higher food safety risk, e.g., manufacturers of alcoholic beverages other than wine, manufacturers of non-alcoholic beverages, processors of grain, herbs or spices, those who handle food for retail, etc.

If you are the operator of a new food business your appointed verifier must carry out an initial verification within six weeks of registration.  Existing food businesses transitioning to a National Programme must be verified:

  • In the case of a National Programme Levels 1 and 2, within 12 months.
  • In the case of a National Programme Level 3, within 6 months.

Template Food Control Plans

Many food businesses can use a template food control plan to meet the requirements of the Food Act. A template Food Control Plan (FCP) is a pre-evaluated plan for managing food safety and suitability. If your business activities are covered by one of the available templates, you can use this rather than creating your own custom FCP.

To find out more if you can you can use one of the FCP template for your business visit the Ministry of Primary Industries website for more information.

What we offer

Independent verification that your national programme or food control plan is suitable and being used correctly is a regulatory requirement.

When you register your National Programme or template Food Control Plan you may need to choose a verifier.

QEC Ltd is an MPI Recognised Agency under the Food Act 2014 and is able to perform specialist functions and activities, including verification of all levels of National Programmes and template Food Control Plan outside Councils’ exclusivity. Verification is performance based.  The businesses that manage food safety risks the best will be verified the least.

As your verifier, QEC will work with you to manage the food safety risks, and aim to lift you to the highest level of performance.

Food Safety Training

One of the key factors of all National Programmes and Food Control Plans is training your staff in how to keep food safe.

QEC can train your staff in the principals of food safety, so they understand why they need to complete the steps in your National Programme or Food Control Plan.

On completion of training, your staff will receive a certificate, which you can use to show your customers you are committed to providing them with safe food.


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