Additional information and resources
Starting a new food business
Starting a new business is exciting – but there are a lot of things to think about. Take a look at this handy guide and notebook from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) which includes a snapshot of what you need to know and do before you start a food business to ensure you're meeting food safety rules.
Food businesses need to comply with legislative requirements for the design of their premises. Our environmental health officers cannot offer direct advice or make specific recommendations as it is entirely the responsibility of the operator to ensure their premises meets any requirements. The following information and links should provide some general guidance.
All premises are assessed against the requirements of the Food Regulations 2015. This has some broad requirements outlined in Sections 13 to 38 which form the basis of the requirements of food control plans.
Operators should note that new builds and fit-outs will require building consent and are subject to both the Building Act 2004 and in turn, the Building Code as well as relevant planning rules in the District Plan. In some instances resource consent may be required where there are zoning issues or changes in the type of operation from what was at that site previously. For more information on any of these areas call our customer service team on 07 376 0899.
If you want to sell alcohol on your premises or have patrons bring in alcohol for consumption on the premises while dining you will need to apply for a alcohol licence.
Training and qualifications
Under the Food Act 2014 there is no longer a requirement to hold a formal food safety qualification.
Formal training is however still a useful means of obtaining acceptable food safety knowledge and it is recommended the preparation of food is supervised by an adequately qualified person. Note food control plans and national programmes have a training component and this is covered as part of the verification.
All food handlers should have the necessary competencies required to safely perform their roles, and this includes a knowledge of the food control plan or national programme requirements.
Several training organisations are capable of providing formal training to achieve food safety qualifications. You may choose to obtain these by correspondence or attend a scheduled course. Verifiers from Taupō District Council cannot act as trainers, as their role is to ensure compliance with the Food Act 2014.
Asure Quality NZ
Websites: https://www.asurequality.com/ and https://www.asurequality.com/our-solutions/food-safety-advisory/
Phone 09 573 8000 or 0508 00 11 22
Phone: 0800 366 4690
WA Consulting Group (Rotorua)
Phone: 0800 644 555
Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology (Taupo)
Industry Training Solutions (Hamilton)
Phone: 0800 464 487
Online training options:
Safe Food Handler.Com (Food Control Plan specific training)
Phone: 020 4108 0547
Operating a food business from home
One of the major changes in the Food Act 2014 is operators may now choose to operate out of their home kitchens. The design requirements remain the same as for all premises, however in general provided sources of contamination such as pets can be controlled and the premises can be easily cleaned then they are usually suitable. Common examples of businesses that operate from home include cake makers, bakers, or preserve manufacturers.
Home-based operators should be aware there are significant restrictions as to the types of operations that can occur in a residential setting, for example, you cannot simply turn your house into a shop or start up a large manufacturing business. You cannot create a nuisance to neighbours so consideration as to the appropriateness of the activity is required.
If you want more information on whether your proposed activity is allowed at your house then we suggest talking to one of our planners so they can advise you of requirements. In some cases resource consent may be required. If necessary they will direct you to an environmental health officer for more information. Planners can be contacted by calling Taupo District Council on 07 376 0899.
Food Standards Code
The Food Standards Code (FSC) is a shared document that applies in both New Zealand and Australia. The food standards code applies to all food produced in Australia and New Zealand and contains the requirements for many different foods and ingredients. The FSC is more likely to affect retailers and manufacturers, but some elements also relate to food service.
The FSC prescribes all labelling requirements for businesses as well as compositional requirements and microbiological limits among other food safety factors. The FSC is a complicated document so we recommend seeking advice from an environmental health officer who will be able to direct you to the correct information.