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Amended bylaw to lift City’s food safety standard

Amended bylaw to lift City’s food safety standards

Deciding where to eat out in Waitakere City will be easier as a result of the Council’s new system for grading food premises.

The Council’s Environmental Management Committee decided this week to amend its existing food safety bylaw and introduce grading of food premises.

The amended bylaw will ensure that the grading of every food-related premise is available to the public and that premises publicly display their grade.

“This will provide a strong incentive for operators to achieve and maintain top standards and therefore a top grading. That means an improved level of food safety throughout the City,” says Environmental Management Committee chair, Cr Penny Hulse.

“Currently, the public has no practical means of knowing what standard of hygiene and food safety is to be found in food premises they visit, particularly where food preparation, manufacture or storage areas are not accessible or visible.”

The grading or numerical rating system looks at compliance with Food Hygiene Regulations, the degree of staff training and whether systems are in place to ensure the premise is maintained in a clean condition. Emphasis is put on components that, if not controlled, have been implicated in outbreaks of food related illness. These include temperature control, cockroach infestation and insanitary conditions. During an inspection, each of the components is scored according to the degree of compliance and weighted against the risk associated with the type of food outlet being inspected.

Food grading will operate in conjunction with the Council’s current food premises inspection programme. The system will include A, B, D and E gradings. No C grades will be awarded so as to clearly delineate between premises that are acceptable and those that require improvement.

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