Free workshop to understand new Food Safety Law

A free workshop is being held to help businesses understand the new Food Act.

The workshop will take place on Tuesday 29 November in Paraparaumu. It is being run by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in partnership with Kāpiti Coast District Council.

Sally Johnston, Manager Food and Beverage at MPI, said “this workshop is a great opportunity for food businesses to find out what the new rules mean for them, and speak to MPI and council staff about any questions they have.”

The new Food Act, which came into effect in March this year, aims to improve food safety by moving to a risk-based approach.

Businesses that make or sell food in New Zealand need to comply with the new Food Act at different times over the next three years.

“The workshop will help food businesses understand what they need to do and when. If you’re worried about using a food control plan, or you’re not sure what a national programme means, this workshop is for you,” said Johnston.

“It is also a chance for food businesses to give feedback to MPI, to help us improve the way the new law is implemented”.

The new law introduces different types of regulation for different businesses. Higher risk businesses, like restaurants and cafes, use written plans for managing food safety, called food control plans. National programmes provide a set of food safety rules for medium and low-risk food businesses, like those who make jam or sell tea and coffee.

Businesses can also use a tool on the MPI website, called ‘where do I fit?’, to find out how the law applies to them.

“The new law brings benefits for businesses and consumers. The risk-based approach helps to protect consumers, while reducing regulation for lower risk businesses. Businesses who manage food safety well will need less frequent checks, allowing them to keep compliance costs down.”