n Monitoring programmes under the Food Act 1981

Monitoring programmes under the Food Act 1981

Operating under the Food Act

Rules for food businesses are changing – we're moving from the Food Act 1981 to the Food Act 2014. From 1 March 2016, all new businesses must operate under the Food Act.

Existing businesses (registered under the Food Act 1981 or Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 before 29 February 2016) will shift to the new Act between 2016 and 2019. Check the timetable to find out when your type of business has to transition.

The programmes under the Food Act test residues and contaminants in imported food and other selected foods that may present a risk.

The Food Act 1981 regulates domestic food produced or sold in New Zealand. Monitoring under the Act is generally empowered by Section 9, where 'contaminated' is taken to mean a contaminant or substance whose levels exceed thresholds in published standards. The Act also allows standards to be issued in relation to the composition of food, including the:

  • maximum amounts of chemical contaminants or residues that may be present
  • maximum or minimum amounts of additives or other substances that must or may be present
  • microbiological status.

New Zealand Legislation: Food Act 1981 (External website)

Food safety monitoring under the Food Act

There are 2 main monitoring programmes under the Food Act:

  • Food Residues Surveillance Programme (FRSP)
  • Imported Food Monitoring Programme

You can find out more about how each programme works on the relevant pages in the left-hand menu.

New Zealand food Standards

Several New Zealand Food Standards are made under the Food Act. The 4 listed here relate to chemical specifications for food production.

Maximum Residue Limits of agricultural compounds

The Maximum Residue Limits of Agricultural Compounds Food Standards 2007 give the maximum residue limits (MRLs) at which residues of an agricultural compound may be present in specified types of food. The MRLs for a range of agricultural compounds are listed in the Standard. If an agricultural compound and food combination is not specifically listed, then a default maximum of up to 0.1mg/kg applies. All food produced for sale in New Zealand must comply with this Standard.

Maximum residue limits of agricultural compounds Food Standards 2007

Imported Milk and Milk Products

The Food (Imported Milk and Milk Products) Standard 2009 spells out how milk and milk products manufactured for sale must be processed. This includes milk and milk products used as ingredients in other food. Additional requirements are set under the Animal Products Act 1999.

Food (Imported Milk and Milk Products) Standard 2009 (66 KB PDF)

Prescribed Foods

The Food (Prescribed Foods) Standard 2007 prohibits any food listed in the Standard from being imported, manufactured, prepared or sold if any of the conditions listed are not met.

Food (Prescribed Foods) Standard 2007

Tutin in Honey

The Food (Tutin in Honey) Standard 2010 sets a maximum level of tutin in honey for sale for human consumption and for export. You can find out how this is applied in the Honey & bee products section of the website.

Managing tutin contamination

Food (Tutin in Honey) Standard 2010 (61 KB PDF)

Food Standards Australia New Zealand

Further standards are developed under the Food Act in cooperation with Australia. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) carries out this work, which is based on the rigorous scientific assessment of risk to public health and safety.

You can find the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) on the FSANZ website under Food standards.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) (External website)