How to Obtain Food Handlers Permit New Zealand

How to Get a Food Handler’s Permit in New Zealand

Are you planning to work in a cosy café or a popular takeaway joint in New Zealand? Well, before you dive into the world of hospitality, there’s one important thing you need: a food handler’s permit! 

Don’t worry, it’s easy to get one. Keep reading, and we’ll guide you through the simple steps to quickly get your hands on this permit.

How to obtain a food handler’s permit in New Zealand

How to obtain a food handler's permit in New Zealand

To score your food handler’s permit in New Zealand, all you need to do is complete an approved food safety course by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). This course covers everything you need to know about the nitty-gritty of food safety.

And after that, you’re just a few steps away from getting your hands on that shiny food handler’s permit! Let’s walk you through it.

DifficultyEasy ●○○○○
Number of steps4
Time to perform stepsFew weeks
Things you need• Internet access or access to the NZQA website
• Personal information for the permit application
• Food safety training certificate
• Results of any food safety tests taken

Step 1: Find an accredited food safety course.

Find an accredited food safety course

Finding the right course is a piece of cake. Just make sure it’s officially approved by the NZQA. That way, you know you’re getting top-notch training.

The good news is that you don’t need to go on a wild goose chase. Head straight to the NZQA website, where they’ve got a list of approved courses.

Here’s how to navigate the website to search for the courses:

  1. Open your web browser and go to the NZQA website.
  2. Click on the “Qualifications” tab.
  3. In the “Search for a qualification” field, type “Food Safety”.
  4. Click on the “Search” button.
  5. A list of accredited food safety courses will be displayed.
  6. You can filter the results by location, course type, or provider.
  7. Once you have found a course that you are interested in, click on the “Learn More” button to learn more about the course and how to enrol.

The ideal option is the Food Safety and Hygiene Certificate, a 1-day NZQA course where you’ll learn about:

  • Identifying the causes of cross-contamination.
  • Recognizing high-risk foods that can cause food-borne illnesses.
  • Understanding food poisoning and related diseases.
  • Practising essential food safety skills, including personal hygiene, in your workplace.
  • Learning about food protection and ways to minimise food waste
  • Managing and identifying hazards for better food safety.
  • Mastering correct cleaning procedures to ensure the health of staff and customers.
  • Understanding why food hygiene is vital for our communities.
  • Getting familiar with the Food Act 2014 and Introduction to Food Control Plans.

Remember that direct enrollment is not available through the NZQA site. Instead, you’ll need to find a suitable provider that offers an accredited food safety course. Once you have found a provider, simply contact them to enroll in the course. The enrollment process may vary depending on the provider.

Step 2: Complete the course and pass the assessment.

Complete the course and pass the assessment

Now that you’ve got your course sorted, let’s get down to business!

As you go through the course, you’ll become a food safety pro, learning all the ins and outs of handling food like a champ. But there’s one more step—the assessment.

Here’s how the assessment process typically works:

  • Assessment Format: The assessment can take different formats, depending on the course provider. It may be a written test, an online quiz, or a practical demonstration.
  • Test Topics: The assessment will cover the key topics you learned during the course, such as food safety principles, hazards associated with food, safe food handling practices, cleaning and sanitising procedures, and more.
  • Evaluation: Your performance during the assessment will be evaluated to ensure you have grasped the essential food safety concepts and can apply them correctly.
  • Passing Criteria: The passing criteria may vary from course to course. Some providers may require a minimum score on the written test or successful completion of specific practical tasks.
  • Assessment Results: Once the assessment is complete, you’ll receive feedback on your performance, letting you know whether you’ve successfully passed.

Step 3: Apply for a food handler’s permit.

Apply for a food handler's permit

Let’s say you’ve passed your assessment! Now it’s time to take the next important step – applying for your food handler’s permit.

Each local council in New Zealand handles the permits, so you’ll need to contact your specific council to get started. 

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Find your local council: Determine which local council governs the area where you plan to work. You can find this information online or ask your employer.
  1. Get contact information: Gather the council’s contact details, including their phone number and email address. Check their official website for this information.
  1. Reach out: Call or email the council to inquire about the food handler’s permit application process. Let them know you’ve completed an accredited food safety course and passed the assessment.
  1. Note the application requirements: Ask the council representative about the required documents and information for the application. They usually need:
  • Your personal information (full name, address, contact number).
  • Copy of your food safety training certificate.
  • Results of any food safety tests you’ve taken.
  1. Submit an online application, if possible: Some councils have an online application form on their website (ask them when you reach out to them). If available, fill it out and attach the necessary documents.
  1. Do in-person submission, if necessary: If physical documents are required, ask the council where and how to submit them. They may accept documents by mail or have a designated office for submissions.
  1. Pay the application fee: Inquire about the application fee, which varies by council. Learn how to make the payment according to your council.

Once you’ve completed the application process and provided all required documents, the council will review your application. If everything is in order, you’ll soon receive your food handler’s permit. You’re almost there!

Step 4: Receive your food handler’s permit.

Receive your food handler's permit

Good news is on the way! After submitting your application, keep an eye out for an acknowledgement email or letter confirming they’ve received it.

Within approximately 10 working days, your food handler’s permit will arrive in the mail. This permit is your official ticket to handle food safely and legally in New Zealand.

So, stay excited and check your mailbox regularly. And once it arrives, your dedication to food safety has paid off, and now you’re officially certified to rock it in the hospitality industry.

FAQs about food handler’s permits in New Zealand

Let’s address some frequently asked questions to clear up any doubts and ensure you’re well-informed about this essential certification.