Food Act Comes Into Effect

Press Release – Queenstown Lakes District Council

A new law for all businesses that sell food comes into effect tomorrow (1 March) and Queenstown Lakes District Council is gearing up to help local food premises comply.Food Act Comes Into Effect

A new law for all businesses that sell food comes into effect tomorrow (1 March) and Queenstown Lakes District Council is gearing up to help local food premises comply.

“The Food Act 2014 is designed to modernise food safety in New Zealand. It will make it easier for businesses to make sure their food is safe,” says Scott Gallacher, Deputy Director-General Regulation and Assurance, at the Ministry for Primary Industries.

From tomorrow, anyone who starts a business that involves food must follow the new law. This includes anything from restaurants, to corner dairies, market stalls, or internet cake sellers.

Existing businesses also need to make changes, although they have longer to do so.

QLDC’s Regulatory Manager, Lee Webster, says that news of the changes shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone, as they have been well signalled both nationally and locally and QLDC has already been working with local food businesses with a view to getting a smooth transition to the new regime.

“Of the 474 businesses registered with us across the district, over 50 percent are already participating voluntarily.”

Mr Gallacher says that the new law applies to a wide range of businesses, and includes any which make, sell, grow or transport food commercially. This includes those who serve food as part of their business, like education providers or homes for example.

“We’ve made it easy for businesses to see how the new law applies to them with an online tool. Businesses should visit the MPI website and use ‘Where do I fit?’

“The new law moves from a one-size-fits-all approach, to one that regulates businesses according to risk. This will help keep regulation and costs down for many businesses, especially lower risk businesses, like those who grow fruit and vegetables or sell only pre-packed food.

“It also offers businesses greater flexibility. People can sell food they have made at home, for example, but must meet the same food safety standards as other businesses.

“By focusing on what’s most important to food safety, the law will help ensure safer food for consumers. At the same time, keeping costs down for businesses will also keep costs down for consumers.”

The new law also introduces other measures to help businesses keep time and costs down. For example, those who manage food safety well will need less frequent checks.

Existing food businesses don’t have to make changes straight away. They will move over to the new Act at different times over a three year transition period.

Businesses can find out what they need to do online atwww.mpi.govt.nz/foodact .

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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