Food Act 2014

Changes under the Food Act 2014

The new Food Act has come into force on 1 March 2016.

This national legislation is about making sure that businesses prepare and sell food that is safe and suitable to eat.

Under the act, Ashburton District Council will continue to be the regulatory authority.

We will:

  • issue the registration for your food business
  • perform the food safety verifications.

Depending on the type of business, the Food Act requires that all food businesses register under one of the three options:

  • a template Food Control Plan (FCP)
  • a National Programme (NP)
  • a custom-made Food Control Plan.

Transition period

Under the Food Act 2014, new food businesses must register when they start trading. Existing food businesses (operating under the Food Hygiene Regulations 1974) have been registered in stages since the new laws came in, with a different group registering each year.

Among the group that needs to register by 31 March 2018 are:

cafes without an alcohol licence
rest homes
convenience stores
service stations
some food manufacturers

Businesses that must register by March 2018  – Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI)

More business types will need to register by November 2018, including coffee carts, brewers, makers of spreads and preserves, and many other food manufacturers.

Registration forms are available here

31 March 2018 Deadline
If you require help to register your food business, please contact Food & Health Standards on 03 3651667 or

You can submit your completed registration forms along with your registration fee to the Ashburton District Council office. ​

What is a Food Control Plan (FCP)?

A template Food Control Plan (FCP) is a step by step guide on food safety procedures that can be tailored to suit the needs of your business.

It’s a management tool for food business operators.  It includes pre-printed records, forms and a diary.

Operating with the FCP will help your business meet its food safety and suitability requirements and demonstrate your commitment to food safety.

View the Ministry for Primary Industries' video to learn more about Food Control Plans.

You can view or print the template FCP and diary from the Ministry for Primary Industries'  website.

How the new rules affect you

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

Changes to home based businesses

Food businesses preparing food for sale in a home kitchen can do so as long as they:

  • comply with the rules for home businesses
  • are registered under a FCP or a NP
  • have a Food Safety Plan (FSP) with Ministry for Primary Industries.

You will also need to meet all other legal requirements such as home based area district plans, bylaws and other relevant acts and regulations.

Taking over an existing FCP or NP premises

A FCP and NP is non-transferable.

When a new owner takes over a FCP or NP premises they will need to register under the Food Act 2014 with a food control plan or a national programme.

Download a registration form

Download a scope of operations form

Training requirements for template FCP and NP

Food premises on FCP and NP are exempted from the training requirements under the Food Safety Bylaw 2013. Instead, training requirements will be outlined in your Food Control Plan.

All your staff should have a good understanding of the FCP requirements related to their area of work.

The day-to-day manager must be familiar with and understand all the procedures in the FCP before training staff.

You will need to complete and sign a staff training record for each person who works in the business.

For more information see MPI.