Food safety

Food stalls and food businesses need to be registered and have a license to sell food. Find out what you need to do to keep your customers safe.

Registering your food business

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 you sell food to raise funds for charity (or similar purposes) and do this 20 times or less per calendar year, then your food stall is exempt from registration, but the food must still be safe to eat.

We register and verify food premises, investigates complaints and provide information on making, giving away and selling food.

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

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.


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 in the national programmes can be found on the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) website. 

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.


Registration for a new National Programme $155.00
Registration for a new Food Control Plan $226.00
Verification (audit) of Food Control Plan or National Programme/per hour $171.00
Renewal Registration fee for Food Control Plans and National Programmes $127.00


Selling food on stalls

If you are operating a food stall - whether giving away food as a promotion or selling it - your food should be "safe and suitable" for people to eat. You don't have to register under the Food Act 2014 or pay a fee if you're selling food:

  • to raise funds for a charity, cultural or community group less than 20 times a year. 
  • provided by members of sports clubs, social clubs or marae – where food is not the purpose of the event. 
  • commercially at fairs, markets, or occasional events once a calendar year. 

Food safety tips for selling food for fundraising can be found on the Ministry for Primary Industries website.


Outdoor dining

If you operate a food shop, takeaway, restaurant or cafe bar and want to place furniture on a public place adjacent to your premises for customer or al fresco dining, you must first obtain the Outdoor Dining Permit. Click here to find out more information.


Start a food truck or coffee cart in Porirua

Tīmata i tētahi taraka hoko kai

This is a guide to the registration you will need if you want to start trading as a mobile food operator (e.g. food truck or coffee cart) in Porirua. Mobile food operators can apply for a food control plan or national progamme registration with Porirua City Council provided that the base address (i.e. the food preparation and storage address) is in Porirua. If the base address is outside of Porirua, you will have to register with the appropriate council for that address.

Please think about where you plan to trade before you reach out to us. A current registration certificate must be provided before approval for trading.

Do you need consent to open a food business in your area?

  • Do you need to have a Food Control Plan or a National Programme registration?



Checklist of the forms you will need to fill out when you apply for food registration:

  • Application for registration of food business (document linked)
  • MPI Template food control plan (document linked)
  • MPI Scope of operations (document linked)