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21 December 2018

Have Your Local Businesses Registered?

It’s the final countdown for existing businesses that make, sell and/or transport food to meet the 28 February 2019 Food Act registration deadline.

Most food businesses have now registered, which is excellent. New Zealand Food Safety, local councils and industry organisations have been working hard to help all remaining businesses meet the deadline. 

Territorial Authorities, as our partners in managing the implementation of the Food Act 2014, we still need your help to get all businesses across the line. As you know registration takes time, so please urge your un-registered local businesses that make or sell food, to find out immediately if they need to register a plan or programme. 

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Liaison Team to Support all Service Providers

The Food Act Implementation Programme is making a change to the local government liaison support model. As we indicated in the September 2018 Food News edition (“Regulatory Services Audit Update”), the team will be organised to support all service providers along the customer journey, rather than being organsied by geography.

What this means is you will have contact points with greater capacity and focus to support specifc regulatory functions with timely advice and coaching, rather than one team member trying to coordinate support across all your functions.

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First Meeting of Co-Regulatory Priorities Panel

In recognition of the special co-regulatory relationship that local and central government have in administering the Food Act 2014, we have established a Food Act Co-Regulatory Priorities Panel. The panel will work together to set food safety priorities based on the information that is being generated across the system. Letters were sent to Chief Executives and Regulatory Managers at the councils asking for expressions of interest to sit on the panel. Everyone who expressed an interest was invited to sit on the panel for its first term.

Panel meetings will be facilitated by an independent chair, with representation from both MPI and a diverse range of Territorial Authorities. The first meeting of the panel was held on 12 December.  

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Food Notice: Waiver from Evaluation

New Zealand Food Safety is inviting you to have your say about the new 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 the ‘What I Need To Do’ 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 Friday, 18 January 2019 to have your say.

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Verification of Mobile Businesses

Most councils will have undertaken verification of mobile businesses (like food trucks) that have registered a Simply Safe & Suitable template Food Control Plan.

In most cases, councils generally do not have exclusivity to verify mobile businesses with template plans, because they rarely operate entirely within one council district.

If you currently have deemed recognition and have been using this to verify mobile businesses with a template plan, please be aware that your recognition will expire at the end of February 2019. If your council only has recognition under the exclusivity provision, you will no longer be able to verify these businesses once your deemed recognition expires. This could have a significant impact on the mobile businesses you currently verify, as they will have to find a new verifier.

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Consultation Summary of Submissions

Summary of submission documents for the recent section 40 consultations for Lone Star, New Zealand Aged Care Association (NZACA), Care Association of New Zealand (CANZ) and Bunnings Warehouse New Zealand have been added to the MPI web site.

Details of all MPI food safety consultations can be found here.

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Horticulture: Registering Growers & Packers

As a reminder, we’ve been working with Horticulture New Zealand and its associated product groups to help make Food Act registrations as easy as possible.

New Zealand Good Agricultural Practice, Global Good Agricultural Practice and British Retail Consortium (limited to fresh produce) have all been approved by MPI as Section 40 Template Food Control Plans for National Programme 1 under the Food Act 2014. This means that growers certified to these standards are not required to register separately under National Programme 1.

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Close-Out Dates for Approvals Applications

As a reminder, for the Christmas-New Year period, most MPI sites will be closed from the end of business on 24 December 2018, and will open again on 3 January 2019. Please note there will be minimal staff attendance on the 24 December.

Approvals emails will not be monitored from 24 December until we open again on Thursday, 3 January. For anything URGENT during the close-down period, contact the Manager Approvals Operations on 029 894 2564. However, please note that we will not have the ability to do any technical assessments or provide any new documentation in this close-down period.


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.


Happy Holidays

This is our last Food News edition for 2018. Many thanks to all our 1196 Food News subscribers for your support and feedback this year. On behalf of the Food Act Implementation Programme, we wish you all Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas.