Food safety

Food stall sellers don't need a licence, but registered food businesses do need one. Find out what you need to do to keep your customers safe.

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.

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.

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.

Types of food business registration

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 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 138.00
Registration for a new Food Control Plan 200.90
Verification (audit) of Food Control Plan or National Programme (per hour) 151.40
Renewal registration fee for Food Control Plans and National Programmes 113.30