Healthy sandwich made of a fresh seeded roll, cut in half to display tasty ingredients of salami, tomato, lettuce and chees, presented on a wooden board

Cafes, restaurants and caterers, who don’t have an alcohol licence, need to register for the new Food Act by March 2018.

The new Act moves from a one-size- fits all approach to food safety to one that’s tailored to individual businesses. The new rules focus on the process of making food safe, rather than the kitchen where food is made.

The particular plan or programme you fit under depends on the food safety risk of what you prepare and serve. Cafes who cook or prepare their own food like meals, pies, sandwiches, salads and cakes will be treated differently to a place selling food made by another business.

Most cafes and restaurants will be under a template Food Control Plan, a pre-written set of food safety rules that follow the daily cycle of your kitchen.

The Ministry of Primary Industries website has some great online tools to get you get started. If you’re under a template food control plan there’s a step-by- step guide to getting registered.

If you are not sure where you fit, there’s an online ‘Where Do I Fit’ tool to provide the answer. There’s also a series of helpful videos to tell you about the Food Act and how other businesses have found the process. Most food businesses will register with their local council. Your council will also be able to answer your questions about working under the Food Act. It’s worth talking to your council early and avoiding a last minute rush.

For information go to act-2014