Re-opening or making changes to a food business in Alert Level 2

There are requirements food businesses must follow to ensure their food is safe for consumers. New Zealand Food Safety has developed easy ways for businesses to meet these requirements so they can get up and running under Alert Level 2, including making changes to the way they operate.

We understand that some food businesses have faced significant challenges under the COVID-19 restrictions. In recognition of this, New Zealand Food Safety has waived the fees that would normally apply to registering a change in scope to your operation. This covers food businesses operating under the Food Act 2014 and the Animal Products Act 1999.

We have waived charges for the required Scope Change Check for food businesses who want to expand their business into making packaged chilled or frozen food for retail sale.

In addition, we have developed material for animal products businesses wanting to add additional procedures into their existing Risk Management Programme, such as packaging, labelling and delivery.

Visit the Government's COVID-19 website to learn more more on operating under Level 2.

Alert Level 2 - COVID-19

Ongoing registration and verification of Food Control Plans, National Programmes, and Risk Management Programme (RMPs) are still required. Evaluation of RMPs will also go ahead.

Safe practice

No registration or verification of a Safe Practice Plan is required under Alert Level 2.

Businesses must take measures to allow contact tracing and maintain appropriate physical distancing. This includes keeping track of all people (staff and customers) on workplaces.

Contact tracing - WorkSafe

Operating in Level 2

To operate in Alert 2, you'll need to:

  • Maintain a contact tracing register wherever workers, contractors or customers interact
  • Use alternative ways of working, if possible, to reduce the level of people movement and interaction, such as, staggered breaks, shift working and flexible working.

Making changes to a Food Act business

The following steps are for businesses which operate under the Food Act 2014, including butchers, fishmongers, bakeries, delicatessens, cafes, restaurants, takeaways, food service, manufacturers, food transporters, cheese-makers, winemakers and horticultural growers.

These steps will help businesses wanting to add delivery, transport, breaking bulk food into smaller packaging and making chilled/ frozen food.

Guidance for running a food business during COVID-19 [PDF, 532 KB]

  1. Check your existing Food Control Plan or National Programme to see if you already have all the required food cards ("Transporting food" and/or "Packaging") for your change of scope.
  2. Download the relevant cards for your change of scope and attach these to your plan or programme. This material has been pre-evaluated and does not require further evaluation.
  3. Let your Registration Authority (New Zealand Food Safety or your local council) know, by email or phone, that you want to add the operation to your scope.
  4. Complete the Re-opening a Food Business Checklist
  5. Start following the additional requirements within your business operation.
  6. Once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, you will need to formally advise MPI Approvals if you want to continue with the additional or changed operations.

For food businesses that want to expand their business into making prepared chilled or frozen meals and food, New Zealand Food Safety has set up a Scope Change Check to ensure they are managing the associated food safety risks. The business will be contacted for an off-site interview with a food safety expert within seven (7) working days from when MPI receives the request from the business's Registration Authority.MPI have waived the charge for the Scope Change Check.


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