We evaluate and
verify Food Control
Plans and National
Our team can undertake evaluation and verification of Food Control Plans and National Programmes, providing our customers nationwide service and multi-site efficiencies. Under the NZ Animal Products Act 1999,(external link) we can also conduct evaluations of non-dairy programmes.
Complying with Government regulated Risk Based Measures (external link) (RBMs) is mandatory for most food businesses. They ensure that the food sold at the premises is safe and won't make people sick.
With the rollout of the Food Act 2014, every food business must register and operate under a Food Control Plan or National Programme. Which food safety programme the business fits into depends on the type of food the business makes or processes.
NZ Food Act 2014
All food businesses must undergo a verification of their operation as regulated by the Food Act 2014. This verification process includes getting checked by an MPI recognised verifier to ensure the plan or programme is followed. This may include one or more visits from the verifier.
As an MPI recognised verifier, we can verify food businesses operating under a Food Control Plan or National Programme. We offer a collaborative approach, providing value beyond basic requirements and the opportunity to implement processes for continuous improvement with reduced costs.
AsureQuality Auditors can undertake evaluation and verification of Food Control Plans (FCP) and National Programmes, providing our customers nation-wide service and multi-site efficiencies. Under the NZ Animal Products Act 1999,(external link) AsureQuality Food Auditors can also conduct evaluations of non-dairy programmes.
Where does my business fit?
To see where your business fits, please check MPI's website - it has a helpful online tool My food rules.(external link) This takes business owners through a series of questions, aimed to help them understand what rules apply to their business.
If you would like to know more, check out the FAQs below.
Food Control Plan
Food Control Plans (FCPs) apply to higher risk businesses. Higher risk businesses are usually those that have a wide range of high risk production activities.
For example, if a manufacturer of a food product requires storage between production and heat treatment, it would be safer for them to have a singular plan rather than multiple plans for multiple processes.
Higher risk businesses are also those that produce high risk foods. For example, these can be manufacturers of fresh salads, poultry or food for vulnerable populations, like the elderly or babies.
There are two types of Food Control Plans that higher risk businesses can work under. There is a Template Food Control Plan and a Custom Food Control Plan.
Template Food Control Plan
A Template FCP suits most businesses. It will cover most procedures to keep food safe. The major difference between the template and the custom FCP is that it is a set structure as specified by MPI.
For instance, if your business is using a template FCP and you wish to make any changes, you will need to get MPI’s approval first. So, if you wish to do things differently a customised FCP might be better for you.
Custom Food Control Plan
A custom FCP is usually best for larger businesses, like multi-site operators. It allows you to tailor the plan to everything the business does. For example, if there are one or two steps in the template that don't exactly fit for the business, a customised plan might be right for you.
Now let’s talk about the National Programme.
Lower food safety risk businesses are those that transport, distribute or package food products; or that sell packaged goods. This also can be bread manufacturers, jams, chips, confectionary, sauces, and spreads manufacturers.
Medium risk businesses are those that process grains, herbs and spices. They can be also businesses that handle food at points of sale, manufacturers of oils, food additives and minerals, dry powders, and alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages.
Both lower and medium risk businesses should fit under a National Programme scheme.
There are three levels of National Programmes. All National Programmes requirements are outlined on the MPI website. To give you a basic understanding of what’s involved we will touch on some of these requirements below.
National Programme 1
National Programme 1 sets the food safety rules for lower risk businesses. This means that businesses that prepare or process food to be served and eaten right away (including ice-cream and iced confectionary) fit into this category.
Below are examples of food businesses from this group:
- Businesses that are making and selling hot drinks (e.g. coffee carts, etc.)
- Businesses that are growing or packing produce (e.g. farmers, orchardists, etc.)
- Businesses that are extracting and packing honey (e.g. honey extractors, honey packers, etc.)
- Businesses that are making sugar or products like syrup (e.g. sugar factories, food distributors, etc.)
- Businesses that are selling pre-packaged ice-cream and other pre-packaged shelf-stable products that don't need to be kept cold or frozen (e.g. retailers, convenience stores, etc.)
- Businesses that are transporting or distributing food
National programme 2
National programme 2 is for low risk food businesses. It applies to food businesses that serve food to pre-school children; sell chilled and frozen food (except ice-cream and iced confectionery which sit under National Programme 1; processors of nuts and seeds. It also applies to manufacturers of some foods.
Below are some examples of food manufacturers that may fall into this category:
- Manufacturers of shelf stable grain-based products (e.g. biscuits, crackers, muesli, etc.)
- Manufacturers of confectionery products that don't need to be kept cold or frozen
- Manufacturers of snack products (e.g. crisps, popcorn, pretzels, soy crisps, etc.)
- Manufacturers of bread (e.g. bakeries that make only bread)
- Manufacturers of dried or dehydrated fruit or vegetables
- Manufacturers of water-based products (e.g. ice, iced-confectionery, etc.)
- Manufacturers of shelf-stable condiments (e.g. sauces, spreads, preserves, etc.)
- Manufacturers of frozen fresh produce (e.g. frozen fruit or vegetables, etc.)
National Programme 3
National Programme 3 is for medium-risk food businesses. This includes processors of grain, herbs or spices; retailers that handle food, including those that reheat pies or scoop ice-cream.
Some examples of food manufacturers that may fall into this group:
- Manufacturers of oils and fats (e.g. edible vegetable oils, cooking fats, etc.)
- Manufacturers food additives and nutrients intended to be added to food (e.g. processing aids, vitamins, minerals)
- Manufacturers of dry mix powders
- Manufacturers of beverages (e.g. alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks)
If your business makes any food activities other than those listed, you might need to operate under a different National Programme or a Food Control Plan(external link) .
To view the full list of food businesses that the National Programmes apply to, go to the MPI website and navigate to the National Programmes section or navigate to it from here (external link).(external link)
Find Answers to Common Questions
How do I get a verification done?
You will need to register with MPI or your Authority (City Council).
We can help you through this process via a few simple steps:
1. Please contact our team to request an application form.
2. Complete and return this form, so we can assess your requirements and provide you with the right information.
3. AsureQuality will then provide you with the letter you need to send to MPI or your local council to get registered.
4. Once you are registered, please send us your confirmation of registration.
5. We will then contact you directly to book a convenient date for your first audit.
Can I combine audits?
Yes. We can combine with other audits and offer integrated and bundled Certification packages. These cover: CODEX, HACCP, supplier audits and GFSI audits including BRC and SQF, Woolworths, ALDI, Coles, Costco Addendum, Costco GMP, McDonald’s SQMS, My Food Bag, Spotless and more.
Can I get a discount?
Our verifications' prices are fixed via an hourly rate. However, if you are combining verifications as above, this will be reflected in the price.
Can I start manufacturing after I register, but before my initial verification?
Yes, unless there is a specific condition of approval set by MPI.
Can you evaluate my Custom Food Control Plan?
Yes. We have a team of MPI recognised evaluators who can help with this.
Can you write my Custom Food Control Plan? How much support can you give me?
A Food Control Plan(external link) (FCP) must be written by yourself or a consultant. As independent evaluators and verifiers, we are not allowed to consult on writing your Food Control Plan, however we may be able to provide technical support depending on the nature of your enquiry.
Do I need a verification every year?
This depends on:
a) what programme you register with
b) the outcome of your verification
You can choose to have an annual verification rather than moving to a longer period between verifications.
How do I know if there are any conditions of approval from MPI as part of my registration?
Any conditions of approval will be included in the email you received when MPI sent you your registration certification.
How long until I can have my verification?
To best meet our customer’s needs we try to schedule verification well in advance. We will do our best to squeeze you in as soon as possible.
I am making a change to my Custom Food Control Plan, is it significant and does it need to be evaluated?
MPI needs to be notified of any changes to your Food Control Plan. They will then inform you if it is significant and requires evaluation.
If it is considered as significant what needs to happen?
You will need to contact us to have the changes evaluated. Once done, you will need to submit the evaluation report plus your notification of change to MPI. This must be approved by MPI before you can start using the new plan. Refer to the Requirements for Food Control Plans and National Programmes(external link) .
My business makes a unique product. Are you approved to verify me?
We have a highly skilled team of verifiers, who are qualified to deliver a range of programmes. Please contact our team to explain your operation and we will confirm if we can assist.
What’s a non-conformance and a close-out?
A non-conformance means that something in your operation hasn’t met the required MPI standard.
A close-out is the process in which the site provides supporting evidence that the non-conformance has been rectified and now meets the MPI standard.
Where are you based?
We have verifiers based throughout New Zealand and we travel regularly to towns and cities nationwide. We try to group verifications together to reduce travel costs when we can.
Where can I find further details?
If you’d like to know more about Food Control Plan and National Programme verification, please contact us, and we will be happy to help with further details and pricing info.