Food safety for schools and kura (Food Act 2014)

These requirements regard food registration, safety and fundraising. Schools and kura must meet these requirements.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Teachers and Kaiako
  • Contractors Providing Catering Services

Schools and kura must comply with the food safety standards stated in the Food Act 2014 when selling or providing food.

What schools need to do to comply with the law

Depending on the type of food that is prepared, served or sold and the level of food safety risk involved, schools may be required to operate under:

  • a Food Control Plan or
  • one of the National Programmes (Level 1, 2, or 3).

If your school cooks or prepares food to sell, or if food prepared by students as part of a lesson is later sold at the school café

You will need to use a written plan, called a food-control plan. This helps you to manage food safety on a day-to-day basis.

You will need to register (with your local council) and get checked, to make sure that everything is in order.

If your school only sells pre-packaged food (for example, hot pies)

You will follow a national programme. This means registering and getting checked, but does not require a written plan.

If your school only sells pre-packaged shelf-stable food like chocolate bars or dried fruit and nuts

You do not need to register or get checked.

If you use a catering service

If you use a catering service then it is their responsibility to register.

If you are unsure what you need to do

Use the MPI My Food Rules tool to gain an understanding.

MPI My Food Rules tool(external link)


As the law only applies to food for sale or provided together with a paid service (such as a school-run holiday programme). Not all food activities need to be registered.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) provides a list of food activities that need to be registered or are exempt.


You can sell food for fundraising up to 20 times a year without registering under the Food Act. This includes activities like sausage sizzles, school fairs or charity bake sales.

MPI's fundraising fact sheet provides more examples of what counts towards 20 times per year.

Food safety

Even if you do not need to register, food must be safe and suitable and you can be held accountable if you make people sick.

You will find food safety advice and resources on the Ministry for Primary Industries' website. The website also has more information about the Food Act 2014, including the steps to register.

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