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3 May 2018

Who Can Register & Verify s40s?

Now that the first template Food Control Plan (FCP) has been approved under section 40 (s40) of the Food Act, it is timely to clarify who can register and verify these plans.

A s40 template or model is most like a custom FCP. These are most likely to be developed by specific groups, such as industry bodies or franchise businesses, who want to develop a template plan that is tailored to their specific food safety needs (and reduce costs by removing the need for individual businesses to develop a plan and have it evaluated). For example, an industry body could develop a s40 template that all their members could use instead of individual members creating their own FCPs.

The plan is evaluated and approved by MPI for up to 3 years, but the usual verification frequency for the relevant food sector applies (e.g. if a s40 for horticultural production was approved, the verification frequency would be as for National Programme1).

All businesses using a s40 template will need to register with MPI rather than their local council. Please keep this in mind as you work with businesses (especially those mentioned below) in your area to get registered.

The verifier for a s40 template will depend on the sector(s) the plan covers. For example, businesses registering with the Bakery Industry Association of New Zealand (BIANZ) template will need to register with MPI, and select a verifier recognised to verify custom FCPs. That is, the same category of verifier that an individual wholesale bakery needs to use. The category of verifier is included in the Notice approving the template. If in doubt please check the Notice here.

MPI is currently processing several s40 applications. Public consultations for the Lone Star, New Zealand Aged Care Association and Care Association of New Zealand applications have now closed. An application from Bunnings, for their on-site cafes, is pending. Our open Food Safety consultations are listed here.



How Do You Want to Distribute the Toolkits?

(With corrected survey link). We’re asking councils how they want to distribute the new Food Safety Toolkits. Would you like to distribute the Toolkits yourselves or do you want us to do this for you?

The Toolkit is designed to be used as guidance. Businesses have the choice if they would like to use it. The rules that the businesses have to meet are the Simply Safe and Suitable (SSS) Template and National Programmes, and the Toolkit can be used in conjunction with these.

The Toolkit is filled with heaps of visual information and tools, to help businesses keep the food they make safe and suitable. It should be used by councils as a fun and accessible way to open dialogue with food businesses about food safety and suitability, particularly operators who have low literacy levels or use English as a second language.

All existing and new businesses using the SSS Template need to be given a Toolkit. New businesses need to be sent one when their registration is completed, and existing businesses can be given one at their next verification (if councils do it themselves).

If councils distribute themselves, we will supply them with a load of Toolkits that they need to send/give to every registered food businesses in their district.

If we send these out for councils, they must make sure that MAPS is updated with the correct information within 3 working days of the registration being issued – which means you may need to change the frequency for bulk uploads from your systems to MAPS.

Please let us know your preference via this online survey about Toolkit distribution options by 5pm, 14 May. Click here



Food Safety Template for Cheesemakers

New Zealand cheesemakers and MPI are designing a new Food Safety Template for Cheesemakers with public online consultation taking place until Monday, 7 May, 2018.

Everyone will be able to provide feedback on the Cheesemakers Template via an online survey from the consultation page on the MPI website. To have your say, click here.

As part of Food Act 2014 Programme Implementation, MPI is supporting NZ businesses by developing and implementing easy-to-use and efficient regulations. This includes developing a single generic set of rules (template), so that cheesemakers can comply with both the Food Act and Animal Products Act.

NZ cheesemakers and cheese distributers have been directly involved with the process, including one-on-one interviews to see and better understand how cheesemakers build food safety and suitability into the design of their processes of making cheese from farm to shop.

On 26 March in Wellington, MPI ran a co-design workshop bringing together 29 cheesemakers with four verifiers, seven technical writers, seven designers, a lawyer and a policy adviser. In the words of a cheesemaker who’s helping write the template: “It’s not often you get a group of passionate cheese folks and their regulators together in such a purposeful and constructive way”.

All the information obtained from interviews and workshops enabled the MPI team to design, develop and write the draft template. A number of workshop attendees and other cheese industry representatives joined the template testing group between 6-17 April.

For more information about the Cheesemakers Template and the consultation process, please email foodact.2014@mpi.govt.nz or visit www.mpi.govt.nz/food-safety/

Calling for Award Nominations

We’re calling for nominations for this year’s MPI Significant Contribution to Food Safety Award.

We are looking for nominations for an individual, a team, or an organisation who has made a significant improvement to food safety in New Zealand.

If this sounds like someone or an organisation you/your team members know, please visit MPI’s website for more information on how to enter. Or pass this information to them directly as self-nominations are also accepted. Click here. Nominations close at 5pm, 24 May 2018.

Countdown to Titīro

Work continues on Titīro – the new system for recording verification and enforcement outcomes.

In preparation for the ‘go live’ of Titīro, we need to identify those people who will need access to the new system. If you will need to use Titīro, for recording verification and/or enforcement outcomes or for reporting, please get in touch with us at titiro.support@mpi.govt.nz

When you’re determining who needs access, it’s worth noting the following:
• We have included a `recorder’ role in Titīro, so the person entering a Verification or Enforcement Outcome record does not necessarily need to be the Verifier or the Food Safety Officer.
• There is a licencing cost for each user of Titīro, as there is for each MAPS user. MPI has been covering the cost of these licenses to date as part of the implementation of the Food Act 2014, but will be moving to a cost recovery model in the future. 

If you’re an existing MAPS user and you will also need to use Titīro, you will be able to use the MAPS license, but we would like to know who you are please. 

We’re also drafting the Titīro user guides and would like to hear from volunteers to look at the guides and `road-test’ Titīro. Feedback at this stage would be really useful in enabling us to make Titīro easy-to-use when we go live. So please let us know if you’re willing to be a Titīro test subject!

Titīro also provides for online bulk uploads, so we are also keen to hear from your technical team if you are considering using this XML bulk upload facility.

Please send your name and email address to titiro.support@mpi.govt.nz if you:
• Will need to access Titīro (don’t forget to tell us if you are already a MAPS user).
• Would like to be a Titīro test subject.
• Will be using the XML bulk uploader.


How Are Verifiers Using the Academy Resources?

We’ve been talking with some Academy users about how they are using the resources to enhance their practices. Their comments have included:

The Academy in General
• “This Hub is a one-stop shop. It provides a wealth of resources and its biggest strength is the opportunity to learn and share. Plus the range of resources caters well to different learning styles.”
• “We have already used the resources for training people new to verification.”
• “We’ve been waiting for something like this to assist and guide people who are transitioning.”
• “The Academy is helping to bring us up to speed with the changes – it is a great upskilling set of tools.”

The Case Studies
• “We intend to use the Case Studies in a meeting environment whereby we pull one up and discuss it as a team.”
• “These are great tools for use in cluster meetings.”
• “These are good for calibration amongst ourselves.”

The Capability Framework
• “Love the Framework. It is logically presented. The capability (requirements) are clear – academic, yet practical and straightforward.”
• “The three levels of proficiency – very useful in seeing a development path and in understanding what good practice looks like.”
• “We are using it like a training planning manual. It clearly establishes requirements and expectations – and it’s a great education tool for our managers.”
• “The profile is proving to be really helpful in the recruiting process – we better understand what we are looking for.”

Audio-visual Resources
• “To be able to actually see a process in action and then hear the commentary about it…superb learning!”
• “The videos are one of the best possible mediums for demonstrating actual practice examples.”

If you are using the resources in additional ways that would be useful to other verifiers, please let us know at verifieracademy@mpi.govt.nz

Thanks to Noel, Stephen, Mala, Amber-Marie, Amber, Robert, Karen, Shane and Julie for their input.

Remember, if you are already registered with Tiritiri (the MPI Learning Management System), you can access the Academy through the main page of Tiritiri. If you have not already done so, register now.

What a Business Needs to Know About Traceability

A few folk have been asking us for an update on traceability. One TA reported concerns from a client who makes low-risk, National Programme 2 products and thought he was keeping more production and traceability records than are necessary.

The minimum information that a business needs to keep is:
• The name and address of the supplier.
• The type and quantity of food received and the date.
• (if applicable) A record of a temperature check on any food received that requires temperature control to keep it safe.

A wholesale business also needs to know (businesses selling directly to the consumer do not have to keep these):
• The names and addresses of other businesses they supplied food to.
• The type and quantity of food they supplied and the date.

If a business keeping only the minimum information had to do a recall, it may have to recall all food sold between particular dates – a costly exercise. The more information they keep (detailed batch records etc.), the less they would have to recall, but this is the business operator’s choice.

For MAPS specific questions, contact MAPS.Support@mpi.govt.nz

Update on Market Stalls

Councils have suggested that simple guidance would be beneficial for providing national consistency for the way market stalls are categorised and clarity about how current exemption provisions apply to market stalls. MPI will develop guidance for councils by 31 May 2018. 

For Registration Authorities, we’d like to provide you with an update on market stalls.

MPI wrote to territorial authorities in December 2017 to seek feedback on:
• Their approach with market owners and how people have responded.
• Whether councils are using different registration criteria or fees for market stallholders than other food businesses.

We also sought feedback on a range of ideas for reducing costs to markets and market stallholders, including:
• Providing guidance/clarity about existing options for exemption from registration or verification.
• Councils and MPI applying fee waivers for registration or verification services.
• Issuing an exemption for markets/stallholders from the requirement to operate under a risk-based measure. 
• Establishing a new food sector (by Order in Council) for market stallholders.
• Continuing with current implementation initiatives that are expected to reduce costs for small businesses generally (i.e. do nothing specifically for market stalls yet).

Feedback from councils identified:
• There are differences in types of market stallholders in urban and rural areas. Urban areas typically have mainly stalls as an additional outlet for existing small businesses – and have the market activity covered as part of their main business plan and verification. 
• 60% of council respondents consider they are already effectively managing markets and market stallholders and do not support a change in approach.
• Several respondents raised concerns that exempting market stalls from the requirements would undermine the risk-basis of the Act because market stalls often sold high-risk products.

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