Find out how to register your food business, and how to renew your existing food registration.
Whether you're opening a new business or taking on an existing one, you need to make sure your business meets the relevant requirements.
This means you may need to meet with these people at Council:
- resource Consents Planner about compatibility with Council’s district plan
- building Consent for Building Act requirements and structural changes
- trade Waste for grease trap requirements
- environmental Health Officer for suitability of the Building and Food Act requirements
Check if your premises is consented
Contact our Resource Consents team to make sure the business you are proposing is permitted in the location. There may be District Plan requirements such as set operating hours or car parking provisions.
Check if your planned structural or plumbing changes require consent
If you're building a new food premises or making any structural or plumbing changes to an existing food business, you may need a building consent. Contact our Building Consent team for more information.
Check if your business needs a grease trap
Premises have varying and specific trade waste requirements. Contact our Trade Waste team to find out more about food waste and how to dispose of it safely.
Food Act requirements
The operator must ensure that the design, construction and location of the food business enables food to be safe and suitable. This includes:
- identifying and managing risks posed to the safety or suitability of food
- providing enough space for producing, handling and processing food
- providing enough space for fixtures, fittings and equipment
- ensuring that the design of the premises enables staff, visitors and food to move safely, and to flow in a way that prevents and manages risk
- designing the premises to provide easy access for cleaning and maintenance
- ensuring the premises are designed, constructed and located to exclude dirt, dust, fumes, smoke and other contaminants. Ensure the premises prevent pests from entering and remaining
- ensuring construction materials that are used aren't capable of contaminating food
The operator must also ensure that the facilities, equipment and essential services are designed, constructed, and located in a way that enables food to be safe and suitable. This includes:
- ensuring facilities, equipment, and essential services aren't operated beyond their capacity or capability
- water used for producing, processing, handling of food and for personal hygiene and cleaning is suitable for purpose. It must not adversely affect the safety and suitability of food
- the capacity of the water supply should be adequate for the food business
It's good operating practice for at least one person (preferably the manager) to have completed a basic food safety course.
Under the Food Act 2014 managers are responsible for training their staff. For example if you are operating under a template Food Control Plan, the day-to-day manager must be familiar with and understand all FCP procedures before training staff. The manager would then need to complete and sign a staff training record for each person who works in their business.
Getting an alcohol licence
If you're planning to sell and supply alcohol and/or if you're interested in operating as a BYO, you'll need to apply for an alcohol licence.
1. work out which plan applies to you
Depending on what food you make you will need to either operate under a Template Food Control Plan (FCP) or National Programme (NP).
Use the Ministry for Primary Industries My food rules tool to work out which one suits your food activity or business.
2. make sure you have everything you need
For NP applications, if your business nominates a third party verifier you'll need to include a letter from your verifier.
3. apply online
If you operate multiple food businesses within Lower Hutt you can register all your premises using the same application. To register multiple businesses under FCPs, they must all be under the same risk based measure.
How long does it takes to process
Application process times vary and depend on the circumstances and requirements.
Your registration will generally be issued within 20 working days if it is complete and correct, and you've paid any relevant fees.
Note: You're not allowed to start trading until you have all relevant clearances like a resource consent, Certificate of Public Use, or Code of Compliance Certificate.
How much it costs
Fees vary depending on the type of food being made
Businesses operating a registered Food Control Plan must give written notice to their registration authority (Hutt City Council) of changes in details or significant amendments.
Change in detail or significant amendments can include:
- change in information that the applicant provided in their initial application for the Food Control Plan or National Programme registration. This could include the owner's name, trading name, business address, and changes in the types of food being made (scope of the business).
- changes made to the procedures set out in the Food Control Plan that directly relate to achieving safe and suitable food (such as control of hazards)
- anything that impacts the Food Control plan, such as an operator not being able to comply with the Food Control Plan and requirements of the Act
- major alterations to facilities or equipment or change in location of your business
How to give written notice
- complete and save the change of details or significant amendments to your food business form (PDF 294KB)
- email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Businesses must give written notice to Council about any change in detail or significant amendment before it occurs
If it isn't practical to notify Council before the change occurs, it must be done as soon as possible after. This must be no later than 10 working days after the change occurs.
Transfer of an existing food business
Under the new Food Act, Notices of Registration are non-transferable. If you want to take over an existing food business you'll need to complete an application for registration
Your Notice of Registration needs to be renewed if you plan to continue running your food business.
Your Notice of Registration will need to be renewed before (or by) the day your notice of registration is due to expire.
To help you renew your existing registration, we'll send you a renewal reminder letter and invoice at least two months before your registration expires.
What happens if you don't renew your registration
If your Notice of Registration expires, you might get fined. You'll have to apply for a Notice of Registration as if you were a new food business, starting the registration process from the beginning.
How long does it takes to process
How long it takes to process your application cab vary depending on your situation and requirements.
How much it costs
Costs vary between different types of registrations.