Food safety for businesses

The Council registers and verifies food premises, investigates complaints and provides information on making, giving away and selling food.

Food business registration

If you are running a business selling food either directly or indirectly to the consumer, you must be registered.  If a food business has changed ownership, the business must be registered as a new food business.

If any building works are to be carried out you may need to obtain both resource and building consents before you commence any work. 
You will require an alcohol licence if you intend to sell or supply alcohol as part of your business.

There are two types of food business registration:

  • Food Control Plan
  • National Programme

Food Control Plan (FCP)

An FCP is a written document that sets out what steps a business needs to take to keep food safe. Many businesses can use a template FCP, developed by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and available from council. Others will need to develop their own FCP and register with MPI not with Council.

If you're not sure if your business will operate under a food control plan, MPI has developed a tool – Where Do I Fit? – to help you work it out.

Template FCP

The types of businesses that will use a template FCP include:

  • food service businesses such as restaurants, cafes, takeaways, catering, or hospital kitchens
  • food retailers that prepare or manufacture and sell food – including retail butchers, fishmongers, delis, and supermarkets.

You will need to register your plan each year and have a regular check (verification) to make sure your plan is being followed.

National Programme

Working with a national programme is the way that lower-risk food businesses operate under the Food Act 2014.

All national programmes require record keeping to show that you are selling safe food and must be registered with council every two years.

There are 3 levels of national programmes, which are based on the food safety risk of the activities a business does:

  • Level 1 – lower risk
  • Level 2 – medium risk
  • Level 3 – higher risk

Information about each level of risk can be found on the MPI web link below.

If you're not sure if your business will operate under a national programme, MPI has a tool—Where Do I Fit?—to help you work it out, from the link below.

Dual food safety systems until February 2019

The Food Hygiene Regulation 1974 and Food Regulations 2015 are both in force. Most businesses are under the 2015 regulations, but some businesses existing prior to March 2016, will still be under the 1974 regulations until they transition over to the new regulations, by February 2019 at the latest.

Food businesses under the Food Hygiene Regulation 1974 need to be registered annually and will continue to be graded. Fees are payable.

The grading system is designed to allow businesses to improve their grade and reduce the annual fee payable.

For information about food business grading, please contact us on 04 237 5089.


If you wish to make a complaint about a registered food premises, please contact us on (04) 237 5089 or email

Links to more Food Safety information


Porirua City Council:

External links: