Food for fundraising and promotions

Many groups including schools, churches and charities, use food as a method of raising funds. Sausages, jams, chocolate and biscuits are popular foods sold for fundraising. Food Hygiene Regulations apply to food made and sold for fundraising.

Selling food for fundraising including sausage sizzles

If you are intending to sell food to raise money for charity you need to ensure your operation will comply with food safety and hygiene legislation and that the food is safe. Certain fundraising activities involving food may not have to meet all the registration requirements expected of food businesses; however, there may be local requirements, particularly concerning where food may be sold.

Contact your local council to discuss what food you want to sell, where you want to sell it and the organisation you are raising money on behalf of. The Council’s Environmental Health Officer will be able to tell you whether you can go ahead with your fund-raiser and what requirements, such as a permit to sell the food, that the council may require.

Hot tips for a safe and successful sausage sizzle (326 KB PDF)

Selling food at fairs, markets and events

Food sold at markets, fairs, food fairs and other infrequent events is subject to the provisions of the Food Hygiene Regulations.

Contact your local council to discuss the requirements for selling food at these types of event.

Food safety tips for selling food at occasional events (405 KB PDF)

Food safety tips for event organisers (302 KB PDF)

What comes under ‘food for sale’?

The definition of ‘sale’ is provided in the Food Act. As well as the obvious cash transaction, ‘sale’ also includes:

  • offering or attempting to sell, or receiving for sale, or having in possession for sale, or exposing for sale, or sending or delivering for sale, or causing or permitting to be sold, offered, or exposed for sale
  • barter
  • supplying under a contract, together with accommodation, service, or entertainment, in consideration of an inclusive charge for the article supplied and the accommodation, service or entertainment
  • food that is part of, or supplied with, any meal or food for which payment is required to be made, and that is supplied in any shop, hotel, restaurant, eating house, stall, vehicle or other place
  • food offered as a prize or reward in connection with any public entertainment
  • food offered as a prize or reward or given away for the purpose of advertisement, or in furtherance of any trade or business.

The full text relating to sale appears in the Food Act 1981.

Food Act 1981 (External)

Making and giving away food

Food that is given away rather than sold may still be subject to regulation (see: What comes under ‘food for sale’). If you are intending to ‘give’ food away, contact an Environmental Health Officer at your local council with details of what you are intending to do. They will be able to advise on any requirements for your activity.

Giving away food as promotional material

Food that is given away as promotional material will be subject to regulation if it is advertising the product or advancing a business (see: What comes under ‘food for sale’). If you are intending to ‘give’ food away as promotional material, contact an Environmental Health Officer at your local council with details of what you are intending to do. They will be able to advise on any requirements for your activity.

Label requirements for promotional food

Food for sale must be labelled unless it is exempt under the Food Standards Code (Standard 1.2.1). If you intend to promote a food, contact the Health Protection Officer at your regional Public Health Unit to discuss your product and how you intend to promote it.

New Zealand food legislation (Food Safety website)

Public health unit contacts (Food Safety website)

Food labelling

What's on a Food Label? Date Marking and Storage Instructions

A Guide to Calculating the Shelf Life of Foods (460 KB PDF) (Food Safety website)

Homekill and recreational catch – prohibited sale

The Animal Products Act 1999 specifies that homekill and recreationally caught food, such as fish and game, must not be sold. Selling includes:

  • using for advertising purposes, as a prize or for fundraising
  • bartering
  • supplying as part of a contract
  • supplying as part of a charge for another product or service

Although you can catch and eat your own wild food, you cannot sell it or trade it for profit because it has not been through an inspection system to ensure it is fit for human consumption. You eat recreationally caught food at your own risk.

You may trade the parts of your recreational catch that are not for human or animal consumption, for example hides, skins, horns, antlers etc. Waste material can be sold or disposed of to a renderer.

Hunting, collecting, fishing and homekill