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Food Control Plans and National Programmes

An FCP varies depending on the size of the business concerned and the food produced. However, it will normally include flowcharts and procedures for producing the food, identification of hazards and how they will be controlled using HACCP-based principles, maintenance and cleaning schedules, policies in relation to staff illness, dress, hygiene and standards of conduct, staff training procedures, a recall procedure if the product is distributed and recording, review and monitoring procedures.

To be approved, an FCP must be based on the principles of HACCP. HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point. It is a systematic process for identifying potential food safety hazards, evaluating their risk and implementing controls. Hazards can be microbiological, chemical or physical.

From 1 March 2016, all new businesses must register their plans under the Food Act 2014 before they make or sell food.

If you're an existing business, you can keep operating under your current registration but you will have to change over (register your new FCP) by a set date.

JWC Consulting can help develop and Register your programme


National Programmes

Working with a national programme is the way that lower-risk food businesses operate under the Food Act 2014.

What is a national programme?

Lower and medium risk businesses follow a national programme. This means they don't need to use written food control plans, but must register the business, meet food safety standards, keep some records, and get checked.

Three levels of a national programme

There are 3 levels of national programmes, which are based on the food safety risk of the activities a business does:

  • Level 1 – lower risk
  • Level 2 – medium risk
  • Level 3 – higher risk.

National programme requirements

All national programmes require:

  • record-keeping to show that you're selling safe food
  • registration of business details with your local council (or with MPI if you operate in more than one local area)
  • one or more visits from a verifier recognised by MPI
  • if you are involved in processing food, you must meet national programme processing requirements.

National Programme 1

National Programme 1 will apply to businesses such as:

  • transporters or distributors of food products
  • horticultural food producers and horticultural packing operations (packhouses)
  • retailers of manufacturer-packaged ice cream and iced confectionery.

National Programme

National Programme 2 will apply to businesses such as:

  • bread bakeries
  • manufacturers of jams, chips and confectionery
  • manufacturers of sauces and spreads.

National Programme 3

National Programme 3 will apply to businesses such as:

  • brewers and distillers
  • food additive manufacturers
  • fruit drink and flour manufacturers.

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