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18 January 2019

28 February Food Act Registration Deadline

Most New Zealand food businesses have now registered for the 28 February 2019 Food Act registration deadline which is excellent.

We still need to get remaining businesses across the line. Key sectors with unregistered businesses include: food retail; food service; extractors and packers of honey; horticultural producers and packing operations; and transporters or distributors of food products.

Many thanks to local councils and industry organisations who have been working hard to help all remaining businesses meet the deadline. Territorial Authorities, it would be excellent if you can continue to promote the deadline, via email, social media, your council web page and council newsletter.

We’ve developed a number of new graphics, key messages and a short video that you can share with your networks and communities. For copies of these resources, please email us.

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Regulatory Services Audit Update

Since June 2018, more than 40 audits of regulatory services across Territorial Authorities (TAs) have been completed by New Zealand Food Safety. Your co-operation in assisting us was much appreciated.

Those TAs that have yet to be audited will receive emails soon to assist in planning the remainder of the audit sessions. 

The visits have reflected the immense amount of work that many TAs have completed during the introduction of the Act, particularly in the areas of registration and verification. They have also showed that some areas, such as development of information and advice services to food businesses, compliance, enforcement and monitoring processes, have been down the priority list for TAs, as resources have been focused on immediate implementation needs. We look forward to working with co-regulators in 2019 to address these concerns.

Regulatory Managers wanting to discuss their upcoming audits should contact Michael Webster

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Food Notice: Waiver from Evaluation

New Zealand Food Safety is inviting you to have your say about the proposed Food Notice: ‘Waiver from evaluation for custom food control plans developed through the What I Need To Do tool'.

We’re proposing that food business operators, who use this WIN2D tool to create a food safety plan for their business, will be exempt from evaluation as the content will be pre-evaluated by MPI.

Your feedback is welcome either by email, or by completing the survey link via this consultation page. You have until 5pm today, 18 January 2019 to have your say.

We’ve been working to build tools to help food businesses that fit across multiple sectors to develop their food safety plans. This new WIN2D online tool will replace the current ‘Where Do I Fit?’ tool. The aim of WIN2D is to provide a single and engaging customer journey with a clear outcome.  

We’re aiming to have this tool live early this year.

Read more.



What’s New at the Academy?

As we move into the second year of the Food Verifiers Academy, we are delighted with the use that is being made of this resource. With your input, 2019 will see us continue to add new resources and functionality. 

In November and December, we ran Recognised Persons Training Days in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin. Thanks to all 200 of you who attended these days! The feedback received so far indicates that most attendees thought there was significant value in the events.

If you have not already done so, please complete the feedback survey. Check your email from the Academy for the survey link. Your input will help us to plan the next event to ensure it is relevant and useful. The survey will close on 25 January.

More Challenging Situations and Case Studies were recently added to the Learning Activities section of the Academy.  If you have a suggestion or resource that would be useful to other verifiers, please let us know at verifieracademy@mpi.govt.nz.

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Introducing Maggie – Food Act Liaison Team

As part of the new Food Act Liaison Team (as per December 2018 Food News) we will introduce team members over the next few months with individual profile stories, so you can better understand who they are and their area of focus.

This month, we’re introducing Auckland-based Maggie Wan, our Senior Adviser Recognised Persons Liaison. Maggie stands at the forefront of implementing the Food Act 2014 and is now the contact person for verifiers and evaluators (in both Territorial Authorities/TAs and third party agencies).

Having worked for both local and central governments in the past 17 years, Maggie has a thorough understanding of a diverse range of food safety issues. Maggie has spent the past 10 years supporting a food industry shift to risk-based systems. Since her move to MPI, she has supported North Island TAs to implement the Food Act and has been instrumental in building a strong network of food safety experts to perform regulatory functions (especially verification).

Maggie can be contacted at: Maggie.Wan@mpi.govt.nz.

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Guidance: Out of School Care and Recreation

People who run an Out of School and Recreation (OSCAR) programme may have to register for the Food Act 2014. To find out if an OSCAR programme needs to register, we’ve published a fact sheet.

As for other businesses, if an OSCAR programme that needs to register operates in regions, then it can register with local councils in each area, or register once with MPI. The fact sheet will be referred to by Ministry of Social Development OSCAR auditors if/when asked about Food Act requirements.

For Food Act guidance and resources to help food businesses (including those in the education sector) understand and meet their obligations under the Food Act 2014, click here.

New Food Act Translations

To better support business owners and staff, we have new translations of Food Act documents available on the Forms and Templates section of our website including:
• National Programme guidance in traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, Korean, Thai, Hindi, Khmer, and Vietnamese.
• Updated Simply Safe & Suitable (SSS) Template Food Control Plan packs in Korean, Thai, Hindi, Khmer, and Vietnamese.

There are also links to these translations from the Template Food Control Plans and National Programme pages.

Please share the above links with anyone who might be interested. If you would like printed documents of these translations, please let us know by email how many documents of each you would like.

Read more.


Know Someone Who’s Not Getting Food News?

This newsletter is aimed at councils, verifiers and food safety officers working under the Food Act. If you have colleagues in these roles, please make sure everyone is getting it. Although we communicate in other ways as well, Food News is the official source of information about the system.

To subscribe, your colleagues can click here to Sign up for Food News. To read previous editions of the newsletter, scroll down to the Food News section on this page.