Most food service businesses and food retailers in NZ can use the Simply Safe & Suitable template to meet requirements of the Food Act. Here is a step-by-step process of what’s involved, and how Safe Food Pro can make the process easier.
Step 1: Create
Create your Digital Food Control Plan using the awesome app from Safe Food Pro, we take you through the entire process with our handy setup wizard.
Step 2: Register
You must register with your local council if your business is based in only one council area, or if you have a mobile or online business.
To register with your council you will need to:
- contact your local council and ask for a registration form
- complete any other requirements set by the council
- complete a scope of operations form — this sets out exactly what your business does
- return all documents to your local council.
Step 3: Get Checked
What is verification?
Verifiers are professionals who will visit your business to check that safe and suitable food is being sold. The verifier will check you are effectively following your Food Control Plan and keeping all the required records. They will provide feedback on areas that need improvement.
Almost all template FCP businesses are verified by their local council. You can talk to them about verification when arranging registration.
When to get verified
Your first verification happens after you are registered.
If you are a new business, you must arrange for your verifier to visit within 6 weeks of becoming registered. If you are an existing business, your verifier must visit within a year of your registration.
Apply to extend your verification timeframe
New businesses can sometimes apply to extend the date when verification is due.
You can apply if:
- you haven’t already started trading by the due date
- something major or unplanned happens that means you or your business isn’t able to be verified.
You need to email or write to your registration authority (either your council or MPI), 2 weeks before verification is due.
The verification date may be extended by up to 6 weeks.
Frequency of visits
How often you are checked will depend on how successfully you manage food safety. This could be once every 18 months, or as often as every 3 months if you are not doing well. You must pay for each visit, so the better your food safety systems, the less it will cost.
How much will verification cost?
Councils and verifiers set their own fees — it pays to shop around.
Step 4: Ongoing Use of Your Plan
As soon as you have a plan sorted out and registered, you need to:
- follow your plan to make safe food, and keep good records
- renew your registration with your council or MPI annually
- contact your council or MPI if your business changes ownership or closes
- update your plan if you make any changes to what you do or if updates have been made to your template.