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22 August 2018

Kia ora

Welcome to this special edition of Food News where we spotlight our latest tools and lastest improvements to our website. This special edition will reveal how food businesses, verifiers, and Territorial Authorities, can access and use these new tools, and explore what’s next for food safety innovation.


Food Safety Tools Welcomed

This year, New Zealand Food Safety has celebrated the launch of four new innovative tools. All these tools have one common goal – to make it easier for businesses to make safe and suitable food and comply with food safety requirements.

The tools weren’t made overnight. To work smarter and achieve common goals, we worked with the people whose interest in food safety matters the most. The four tools were co-designed and co-developed with 50 cheesemakers, 500 wine industry folk, 12,500 food businesses, verifiers, and Territorial Authorities, through one-on-one consultations, workshops, testing and open consultations.

In May, at the Great Eketahuna Cheese Festival, the Food Safety Template for Cheesemakers was launched by Food Safety Minister Damien O'Connor. In July, Minister O'Connor launched a tool trio – new Food Safety Template for Winemakers, Simply Safe & Suitable Template Food Control Plan update and the Food Safety Toolkit.

Read more

Reveal: Template Food Control Plans

Last week, we revealed some significant changes to our Food Act web pages to help you access the new Template Food Control Plans (FCPs).

We’ve updated the descriptions of businesses that can use a template FCP to include:
• Food service businesses such as restaurants, cafés, takeaways, catering, or hospital kitchens;
• Food retailers that prepare or manufacture and sell food – including retail butchers, fishmongers, delis, and supermarkets;
• Cheesemakers and cheesemongers;
• Members of an organisation that has created its own template – approved by MPI's New Zealand Food Safety.

Under the updated Template FCP section, you can access the following pre-evaluated plans:
Simply Safe & Suitable – for food service and food retail businesses;
Food Safety Template for Cheesemakers;
Industry-developed (section 40/s40) templates.

The Food Safety Template for Winemakers can be accessed here.

Read more

The Toolkit’s Finally Here!

It’s finally here! The long-awaited Food Safety Toolkit.

The Food Safety Toolkit is the guidance that goes alongside the Simply Safe & Suitable Template Food Control Plan (FCP). It’s important for businesses to know that the Toolkit is not a legal requirement. The rules that businesses must follow are outlined in their FCPs.

The Toolkit provides much-requested guidance information, tips and tools, developed with food businesses, Territorial Authorities and verifiers to help them meet food safety rules. The Toolkit has been built to quickly relay and prompt good food safety practices amongst staff, and support a food business’s staff training programme. The tools are designed to be customised so that a food business can use these in a way that suits their staff and way of working.

It provides strong visuals and simple, targeted messages that will help to achieve safe and suitable food. The Toolkit focusses on some of the most important food safety messages. 

Read more


Food Safety Toolkit – Distribution & Benefits

What’s in the box? The new Food Safety Toolkit is an interactive package of guidance, made up of posters, magnets, card game, Food Safety Buddy (The Buddy) magazine, plus targeted online material that complement the food safety messages in Food Control Plan (FCP) and National Programme templates.

A free Toolkit will be sent via courier to every existing registered FCP business. We’re emailing all registered food businesses using the s39 Simply Safe & Suitable template FCP– asking them to verify their business name and delivery address via a survey link.

To support this process and help your local food businesses receive a free Toolkit – if you notice any addresses in MAPS that are obviously inaccurate, can you please correct these addresses by 31 August. That would be much appreciated.

Read more about how Territorial Authorities can help and how businesses can use the Toolkit.

Food Safety Template for Winemakers

In July, the Food Safety Template for Winemakers (also known as the Wine Standards Management Plan/WSMP) was launched.

This Template is aimed primarily at winemakers who also have a café, restaurant or are providing food as part of cellar door tastings, and who therefore need to meet both Wine Act and Food Act requirements. The Template provides those businesses with the option to operate under a single plan. It can also be used by those who operate only under the Wine Act.

What’s unique about this plan is that we have also put together all the content necessary to meet Food Act requirements (taken from the Simply Safe & Suitable Template Food Control Plan/FCP) – so it can also be used as a FCP to meet their requirements (if they have any) under the Food Act.

Read more about what winemakers who also serve/retail food have to do and what Territorial Authorities have to do.

What’s New with the Simply Safe & Suitable Template?

An updated Simply Safe & Suitable (SSS) Template Food Control Plan is now available.

A huge thank you to all the businesses, councils and verifiers who worked with MPI during all stages of the recent consultation process to update the Template and took the time to provide us with concerns, comment and feedback.

We assessed all of the feedback and made changes to the Template where appropriate. If we rejected a suggestion, we have provided our reasoning and alternative options in the summary of submissions document here.

Read more to find out what changed and what's next for SSS.

How to Use the Updated Simply Safe & Suitable Template

Most food service businesses and food retailers can use the Simply Safe & Suitable Template Food Control Plan (FCP) to meet requirements of the Food Act. We updated the Simply Safe & Suitable (SSS) template in July 2018.

Under our improved Template FCP section of our web site, we’ve created a step-by-step process to a SSS template so you can see what's involved.

If a business is already using a SSS template FCP, they need to update their plan to make sure they’re following the right rules.

Read more about how these businesses can update their SSS plans.

How to Use the Food Safety Template for Cheesemakers

Under the improved Template Food Control Plan (FCP) section of our web site, we’ve created Steps to the Food Safety Template for Cheesemakers. This new page will help businesses, Territorial Authorities (TAs) and verifiers by giving details on getting, registering and having the plan verified.

The Food Safety Template for Cheesemakers pulls together requirements for both the Food Act and the Animal Products Act – making it easier and cheaper to meet important food safety standards. The Template covers cheesemaking (including raw milk cheeses) from farm to fork (from the supply of milk for cheesemaking, cheesemaking itself and its retail sale). The FCP is modular, so a business need only use the parts that apply for them.

Read more about how businesses can register the template and what's next for cheesemakers.


What’s the Next Innovation?

The team at New Zealand Food Safety is now starting work on more templates for specialised processes and an interactive tool to enable food businesses to compile a “one plan” or custom Food Control Plan from existing, pre-evaluated template material from across all the food safety legislation. To help prioritise which new templates to work on first, please let us know which requirements businesses are having the most trouble understanding, via foodact.2014@mpi.govt.nz.

Food Verifiers Academy Survey

Don’t forget to have your say about the online Food Verifiers Academy. This Hub is for verifiers. To ensure the tools used to deliver the information are methods which work for you, please tell us what content you want to see in the Academy by completing this survey. We invite your questions, comments and ideas to verifieracademy@mpi.govt.nz.