Food Premises

Last updated: 28 Jun, 2023 07:30pm

Whether you are thinking of opening a new cafe or restaurant or have been operating for years… it is always important to stay up to date with the latest food safety requirements. Outlined below are the bylaws and guidelines in which to abide by whilst operating your food premises .

Food Act 2014
Please view here

Guide for Food Premises Operators 2016
Please view here

How to be confident that your business sells safe food – fact sheet
Please view here

New premises
If you propose opening a food outlet, first check with the Council’s Environmental Health Officer on 06 379 4030 to determine whether the proposed activity is permitted on the site in terms of the Council’s district plan. Also ensure that any building or plumbing works have appropriate building consents.

In order for a food premises to be registered with a local authority, it needs to meet the conditions of the First Schedule of the Food Hygiene Regulations, 1974.

This summarises the requirements of the Food Hygiene Requirements 1974 that apply to your premises. It is not intended to be a substitute for the requirements of the Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 but it has been prepared to clarify the expectations of the Carterton District Council for compliance before the premises can be registered. Refer to the Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 for the full details of these requirements.

Existing premises
Food premises must renew their registration annually. Renewal forms will be mailed to premises prior to the expiry date of 30 June each year.
To ensure that the premises are operating correctly, the premises will be inspected by the environmental health officer periodically throughout the year.
If you are buying existing premises, notification of the change of ownership must be submitted to Council within 14 days of the change.

Registration is renewable each year from 30 June, or if the business changes hands. Prior to opening the business, you will need to contact the environmental health officer for an inspection and apply for a Certificate of Registration.

You may not open until registration has been completed and the environmental health officer has approved opening of the premises.


The premises shall be well constructed and in good repair. As far as possible, they should offer no entrance or harbourage to vermin.
Materials used in a food premises must be of high quality and may be expensive, but will help to prevent dampness, peeling wall surfaces, cracked floors and contamination of food areas. Repairs to substandard premises are costly and can result in the premises being closed.


The floor should be suitable for the particular task. This is important to assess as in some processes floors are subjected to considerable wear and tear. Good quality floors, durable, waterproof, and maintained in a good condition and state of repair are easy to clean and to keep clean.
In wet processing areas, impervious and graded floors will permit rapid disposal of liquid waste. In areas which are swept or mopped there is no need for grading.
Floors should be coved up to a height of 75mm at the walls to facilitate cleaning. Pencil coving is not appropriate.
Walls.  The main criteria are that walls are light coloured, smooth, non-absorbent and are easily cleaned. The minimum height from floor to ceiling is 2.4m.

Cooking areas

Need to be heat resistant, e.g. stainless steel and aluminium sheet between cooking equipment and vent hood. The joints should be filled so that no gaps are evident.

Wash Up Areas

Walls surrounding sinks and wash hand basins, dishwashers and glass washers are to be plastic laminated sheeting (or alternative approved surface), 2m from the floor level.

Storage Areas

Gloss painted or polyurethane stopped and finished Gibb or equivalent, or medium density fibre board.


Generally, the same requirements as for walls with a smooth, impervious and dust proof finish being important, so as to permit effective cleaning.
Any exposed trusses or beams need to be completely enclosed.


The illumination of the premises shall be of sufficient intensity to enable effective inspection and cleaning of all areas of the premises. Lights should be either fitted flush to the ceiling, or otherwise designed and placed for ease of cleaning.


Ventilation must be sufficient to maintain comfortable conditions for people on the premises by preventing air from becoming excessively heated, preventing condensation and excess moisture on floors, walls and ceilings, and removing objectionable odours, fumes and impurities.
Suitable ventilation is to be provided over all cooking equipment.
The system is to comprise a hood enclosure, fan of sufficient capacity, grease filters, condensate channels and ducting to remove cooking vapours to the exterior of the premises. The extractor system is to discharge in a manner that will not create a nuisance and it to be constructed of durable materials which will facilitate cleaning.
There are to be no discharges to the air that are noxious, dangerous, offensive or objectionable at or beyond the boundary of the food premises property. Theses discharges include odour and dust. To avoid a nuisance situation, the ventilation system discharge point is to be situated at the buildings highest point, in an area removed from opening windows and air intake points.
The system is to comply with noise levels set out in the District Plan.


Adequate unobstructed floor space for workers is essential as it promotes efficiency and makes for easier cleaning. As a general guide, and where it is not specified by regulation, it is recommended that the space per person is not less than 3m², or a minimum of 9.5 m², whichever is greater. This space is for food preparation, cooking and cleaning of food utensils and is to be clear of furniture fittings and stored goods.

Changing Facilities

Clothing worn by food workers should not contaminate the food, and so it is necessary to separate street clothing from food processing or retail areas.
Larger premises should have locker rooms for storing all of the outdoor clothing, shoes and bags of the workers. Smaller premises should still have specific areas set aside for storage away from food areas.

Toilet Accommodation

Toilets should be conveniently placed for the food handlers, and designed to protect the food from any possible air borne contaminants. The building code requirements for the number and design of toilets should be referred to (Talk to the Building Inspectors).
Toilets and isolation chambers should not be used for storage.

Wash Hand Basins

Wash hand basins are required in each bar and kitchen area and should be supplied with soap, nail brush and suitable hand drying facilities (e.g. disposable paper towels).
Hand washing facilities are essential to the personal cleanliness of food workers. It is important that all food workers wash their hands after using the toilet, before commencing work and at periodical times during the day.
Hand basins must be used for hand washing only. They should be located so that supervisors can observe that workers frequently wash their hands, and it is desirable that the facilities are located as close to the work area as possible. As a guide it is recommended that they be not more than 6 metres from the work area, although it is recognised that this is not always possible.


Preparation Sink – for washing food, connected directly to waste.
Dishwasher sink – for washing dishes, connected to grease trap.
Cleaners sink – for emptying/filling buckets used to clean large appliances, floors and toilets.

All sinks must have a continuous supply of piped hot water the entire time the premise is used.
The minimum water temperature is 63°c for all sink units and 83°c for dishwashing units.
All plumbing should be installed by registered tradesmen and comply with the requirements of the building code and relevant local authority bylaws

Water Supply

The water shall be of a potable quality and wherever possible it should be from a local authority approved reticulated supply.

Hot Water Supply

The hot water supply must be of an adequate volume and temperature to cope with the maximum demands of the premises. If there is insufficient hot water, there is a tendency to use less than is desirable. It is difficult to establish a formula which is suitable for all premises. However, a suggested minimum for eating houses is a storage capacity of 180 litres.

Grease Trap

A grease trap or other suitable grease pre-treatment facility. Of sufficient capacity, is required of there is a likelihood of grease from your operation entering the sewer.
The grease trap just be cleaned or treated so that no nuisance is caused (Health Act 1956, S29)
Dishwashers must not be installed so as to discharge through the grease trap.
Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on maintenance etc.

Pest Control

Fly screening of all windows and entrances; self-closing doors, properly directed air currents or other suitable control measures are required to keep to birds and flies.
All joints with plumbing or other fittings must be sealed to prevent to prevent entrance or harbourage for rodents.


The yard area is important as refuse is usually stored here and food stuffs enter (and occasionally leave) via the yard. Provide suitable washable bins fitted with close fitting lids for both inside the kitchen and any awaiting collection.
By being paved, graded and drained, the yard can be kept clean and it is essential that the surrounds of any grease trap are impervious.

Cleaning Chemicals

A suitable area for the storage of cleaning chemicals and cleaning equipment s to be provided at each site to avoid contamination of food.

Existing premises
Food premises must renew their registration annually. Renewal forms will be mailed to premises prior to the expiry date of 30 June each year.
To ensure that the premises are operating correctly, the premises will be inspected by the environmental health officer periodically throughout the year.
If you are buying existing premises, notification of the change of ownership must be submitted to Council within 14 days of the change.