Food Safety Minister Jo Goodhew has announced that proposals for regulations under the Food Act 2014 are now open for consultation. The proposed regulations ensure our food is safe and suitable, and will apply to around 85,000 food premises, growers and food importers when the Act comes fully into force by 1 March 2016.
“We want the regulations to be practical and appropriate for the wide range of businesses operating in New Zealand’s food industry, from coffee carts and catering companies to restaurants and large industrial food manufacturers,” Goodhew says. “The best way to ensure the regulations are suitable is for those people within the food industry to get involved in the consultation process.”
Proposals cover matters such as hygiene practices, production, processing, handling of food, and how businesses are checked to ensure they are meeting these food safety requirements.
Under the new Act, food businesses will have increased responsibility for managing their food safety risks, with good performance leading to fewer checks and therefore lower compliance costs.
“Food businesses will be regulated at different levels depending on their food safety risk. High risk businesses will need a food control plan, while low to medium risk businesses will use a national programme,” Goodhew says. “These changes bring the Food Act into line with other food safety laws in New Zealand.”
People interested in making submissions or viewing the consultation document can go to: www.mpi.govt.nz and click on the consultation icon. Consultation will remain open until 31 March 2015.