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20 March 2019

Verification of Deemed FCPs

Deemed recognition for verifiers has now expired.

If you were an existing verifier before 1 March 2016, you were recognised as "deemed" to continue working under the Food Act 2014 for a limited period of time. This meant you had temporary approval to verify the same classes of food operations that you were auditing under the previous law.

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Food Act from 1 March 2019

A huge thank you to Territorial Authorities for your incredible help to support your local food businesses with Food Act 2014 registration. Councils are confident that their known local food businesses have transitioned to the Food Act. This is excellent! 

To explain Food Act registration changes from 1 March 2019, please refer to this new web page.

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Section 138 Review

The statutory review process of section 137 of the Food Act 2014 will begin shortly. This section gives Territorial Authorities (TAs) exclusivity for verifying food business operating under a template Food Control Plan issued by MPI, entirely within one district, and selling food primarily directly to consumers.

We will approach a range of TAs, verifiers, and food businesses for comment. 

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Contracting out Verification Services

A number of councils and third-party agencies have various arrangements for the provision of verification services.

All verifiers must operate under some form of a Quality Management System, if they wish to verify National Programmes (NPs) or custom Food Control Plans (FCPs). There are a few options for contracted verifiers to consider, based on the activities that an agency may wish them to be recognised for (NP, template FCP, or custom FCP verification).

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Distribution of SSS Update Packs

Last year we added three new cards to the updated Simply Safe & Suitable template Food Control Plan (FCP). Businesses using a Simply Safe & Suitable (SSS) template FCP need to update their plan to make sure they’re following the right rules. Territorial Authorities, please check that businesses are using the updated pack. For information about updating the plan, click here

To better support business owners and staff, we have translations of the updated SSS packs in traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, Korean, Thai, Hindi, Khmer, and Vietnamese. You can download these translations from the Forms and Templates section of our website. 

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Food Safety Toolkits for Distribution

We wanted to give you an update about the Food Safety Toolkit, co-designed with Territorial Authorities (TA), verifiers and food businesses, and launched in July 2018.

Between October and December 2018, we couriered out approximately 16,000 free Toolkits to New Zealand businesses with a registered Simply Safe & Suitable (SSS) template Food Control Plan. As per our emails and Food News stories, from 25 March, we will send out boxes of Toolkits to TAs, for your teams to share with your new SSS businesses. 

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CPD Programme Introduction

The Continuing Professional Development programme for verifiers, recognised under the Food Act 2014, will be introduced at the New Zealand Food Safety day during the New Zealand Institute of Environmental Health conference in Dunedin on 21 March 2019.

The programme has been developed following extensive consultation across 30+ councils and seven third-party auditing agencies. It links directly to the Food Verifiers Academy’s Capability Framework. Many thanks to everyone who gave their time and input into shaping this programme!

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Co-regulatory Priorities Panel Update

Last December, Food News introduced you to the members of the Co-regulatory Priorities Panel who had just met for the first time. This panel is tasked with listening to co-regulators and assessing the information that is being captured across the Food Act system to decide on national priorities.

The panel will be running a series of meetings in May across the country to present the information they have so far, but mostly to listen to what co-regulators have to say. Food News will let you know when and where the meetings are happening. If you want to get in touch with the panel members, email us.

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Registration Tools Update

A huge thank you to everyone who has provided feedback about our online business registration solution with the working name, What I Need To Do (or WIN2D).

We want to ensure we deliver a quality product to our customers, as an easy-to-use functional solution which provides businesses with the right information, at the right time. So, we are working on a number of elements in order to get the solution across the finish line, including: functional back-end development, language, and user experience. Launch details are still being finalised. 

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Remote Verification

Technical experts can be few and far between. They are not always available when businesses want them and they might have to travel long distances to reach a business in need. 

A solution is remote verification, which will reduce verification costs through the use of technology. Field trials with lower-risk food retail National Programme businesses were completed in 2018. Final steps include training, assessing and recognising remote verifiers in May.

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Food Safety of Non-Animal Product Foods

New Zealand Food Safety has developed a new guide to support food businesses who want to manage food safety of both animal and non-animal (derived from plants and other sources) product foods within one programme.

This “Can I include non-animal product foods in a Risk Management Programme?” guide will be very useful for food businesses who use similar processing methods (e.g. transporting, canning and storage) to manufacture animal product foods under the Animal Products Act 1999 and non-animal product foods under the Food Act 2014.

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Food Act at NZIEH Conference

We’re excited to be at the New Zealand Institute of Environmental Health (NZIEH) Annual Professional Development Conference (Dunedin, 20-22 March 2019).

The 2019 conference theme ‘Together Towards Tomorrow’ reflects industry changes, such as the end of the Food Act transition period. Day Two (21 March) of the conference will spotlight food safety where a team of Territorial Authority and New Zealand Food Safety officers will present a series of sessions, including new tools for food businesses. 

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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 they have access to this information. 

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.