What are Food Control Plans?
Food Control Plans are a new and different approach to regulating how food businesses will be operated in the future. Rather than having a rigid set of rules that are applied to all businesses throughout the country in the same way, these plans are customised according to the type of activity that is involved. Different plans will be produced for different food sectors.
How will they work?
Food Control Plans require there to be a Food Control Plan Manager always available, rather like a bar manager for licensed premises. There must also be arrangements to provide cover if a Manager is absent.
Managers are responsible for ensuring that all those people involved in the operation are trained in the plan and are properly supervised to ensure that they obey its requirements. There is extensive record keeping that will have to be maintained. This is to prove that the plan is being properly complied with.
Who will have to have one?
Everyone who sells food will have to have a Food Control Plan. The only exceptions are where people can apply for Food Handling Guidance such as fundraising activities by community groups or people who provide meals with accommodation. There are separate rules which determine eligibility for such Guidance. The Council can give advice on this if requested. Many groups and societies sell food, either as a direct sale or as an inclusion within a ticket price and this system has been in place in a similar format for many years.
How much will they cost?
Food Control Plans will have to registered each year and the inspections/audits will also be charged for. Food Handling Guidance should be hopefully available free of charge. At this stage it is not predictable how much registration and audit fees will cost. There will in all likelihood be additional fees for any re-visits that are made to confirm that infringements have been corrected.
How will they be audited?
The current inspection system merely involves an Environmental Health Officer calling unannounced and touring the premises. There are no records that are required to be kept and it is not normal to question staff as to how they work.
Under the new system the audit will consist of three stages;
- Records examination
- Premises inspection
- Questioning staff as to working practices to confirm awareness of the Food Control Plan
The three stages are necessary to prove that the plan is being properly implemented. It is a more exhaustive process and it is designed to identify any areas where the plan is not being adhered to. In the event of any problems being identified infringements can be required to be corrected or an audit can be considered to have failed. Under these circumstances the frequency of audit can be reduced so that they are conducted more frequently. This will add more compliance costs to the operation.
The new legislation will also bring additional powers for councils to issue formal notices. Prosecution powers will remain and at some time in the future NZFSA has indicated that it intends to introduce Premises Grading on a national basis.
Template Food Control Plan and Diary:
Food Act 2014
Application forms for all new premises, those changing ownership and those changing from the old Food Regulations to the new Food Act. Please click on the "all forms page" link at the bottom of the page.
If you are unclear on which form applies to your business, please contact Environmental Health on 03 211 1777 or email email@example.com
Scope of Operations
The Scope of Operations form must accompany all application forms. This describes the activities of your food business.
Please contact Environmental Health on 03 211 1777 or firstname.lastname@example.org to help you, if you are unsure.
Please see the Ministry of Primary Industries website for all the information on the new food act.
This website will help you to understand where your business fits, timetables for the transition for existing businesses and timetables for the information roadshows.
Completed applications can be emailed to: email@example.com or posted to: Clutha District Council, PO Box 25, Balclutha, 9240.
Food application forms
Please visit our Forms & Guides page for forms relating to food.
Guide for food premise operators
Find out more about being a food premise operator.