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Registering a food business

If you make or sell food or you're opening a new food business or taking over an existing one, you need to make sure your business meets the all requirements.

If you work in the food industry you have a responsibility to make sure that all food that's bought or sold is safe and suitable to eat.

The Food Act 2014 ensures the responsibilities and requirements are being met by food businesses.

You must first to go MPI's website

Depending on the type and size of your food business, you will need a Food Control Plan or National Programme.

For all the information you need to know about starting and operating a food business, is on Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) website My Food Rules

On this page

You may also need to talk with staff at Council

If you're proposing a new food business, here's a guide to who you need to speak to in Council first.

Resource consent duty planner - about compatibility with Council’s district plan. 
Building consent - for Building Act requirements, including plumbing, changing building use or structural changes. 
Trade waste - a requirement for most food businesses. 
Environmental health - about the Food Act requirements, mobile food businesses, serving or selling alcohol.

Application for food registration

Once you know which risk based measure suits your food business, as guided on MPI's website
You can apply for registration.

Your application needs to include the following before it can be processed.

  • The correct fee - see our fees and charges
  • Scope of Operations form - these are on MPI's website, or print the document you get from My Food Rules page
  • Site plan of the food business
  • Certificate of incorporation if you're a company
  • Signed verification agreement, requesting Gisborne District Council to be your verifier. Or if you're employing a third party verifier for your National programme business, confirmation from the verifier that you've engaged them.

If your application is incomplete we will not be able to process your registration.

You can lodge your completed application at our customer service centres or email it to food@gdc.govt.nz

If you would like to speak to staff about your application, please phone 0800 653 800 to make an appointment.

You can expect to have a verification check within 6 weeks of registration.  Staff will contact you to arrange an appointment.  Please note, there is a separate charge for the verification.

Application forms

Renew your registration before it expires

The penalties under the Food Act 2014 are significant if you fail to renew your registration before it expires.

You will also need to apply for a new registration, start again with verification frequency, which means increased costs and you may be issued a $450 infringement fine.

We send reminders to re-register, but ultimately it's the business owner's responsibility to ensure registration is renewed before it expires.

Please make sure you contact us to update your records, if you change any important details such as your company name or contact details.

Getting checked - verified

All food businesses need to 'get checked' known as being verified, to make sure they're selling safe food.

Verification is required to confirm the food business is following the food control plan or operating to the standards of the national programme guidance. It checks that you're following good food safety practices and keeping the required records.

You can devise your own method of keeping records or you can choose to download and use MPI's record blanks for food service and food retails

How often you get checked will depend if you're a high or low risk business. It also depends on how well you manage food safety. If you're doing well, you will be checked less frequently.

Verification is charged at an hourly rate, it includes time spent on preparation, the verification and reporting. The cost of verification depends on the scope and complexity of the business and how well the business is operating to their food control plan or to the national programme requirements.

Gisborne District Council is a recognised verification agency. We can verify food control plan businesses and the majority of national programme businesses operating in the district. The exception is NP1 (horticultural sector), we currently don't have the capacity.

If you operate a food control plan you must use Council as your verifier.

If you operate a national programme business you can choose to use Council or any other recognised third party verification agency.

Information about verification, frequency or to find a verifier, go to Ministry for Primary Industries website.

If you would like to engage Council to act as your verifier, complete the Verification Agreement.

Gisborne District Council is a verification agency offering verification services to food businesses. In the delivery of these services, the impartiality and integrity of staff are central to the maintenance of good governance and confidence in this public service.

In offering these Food Act services Gisborne District Council and staff act within principles of fairness and impartiality. Staff perform their duties honestly and impartially, and avoid situations which might compromise their integrity or otherwise lead to conflicts of interest.