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Food standards clearly reflected in gradings

10 December 2007

Food standards clearly reflected in gradings

Kapiti Coast residents are urged to pay attention to the gradings on the food safety certificates issued to all Kapiti food premises last week.

“Every food premise registered with the Kapiti Coast District Council has been checked and re-checked over the past few months as the new Grading system created under the Food Safety Bylaw 2006 has been fully introduced,” Senior Environmental Health & Licensing Officer, Eamon O’Sullivan said today.

“Certificates were posted out last week and it’s a legal obligation for every food premise registered with the Council to display their grading certificate so the public have a clear indication of the level of health, hygiene and food handling practices of those premises.” Exceptions include premises that operate under a national NZ Food Safety Association Food Plan such as Woolworths, New World and Pak n Save.

There are four gradings, A, B, D and E. “A is great, B is reasonable, D is barely a pass and E means closure,” Mr O’Sullivan said. “We don’t have a C because that would imply a pass while a D is clearly below average.”

A Grade means the premises exceed the Council’s current requirements, display a high standard of cleaning and hygiene and demonstrate superior food handling practices. B Grade means the premises meet the Council’s current requirements, display a satisfactory standard of cleaning and hygiene and have good food handling practices.

D Grade means the premises fall below the Council’s current requirements and that improvements in maintenance and/or food handling practices are required.

“Our aim is to encourage all food premises on the Kapiti Coast to be A Grade or, at the very least, B. D is not really satisfactory and we suspect the public will vote with their feet when they see D Grade certificates.

“We’ll be working with the owners and operators of the D and the B grade premises to bring them up to the highest standards but, in the meantime, we would welcome advice from members of the public if they observe any unsafe food handling practices or they are unable to see the certificate clearly on display in the premises,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

“We expect the on-going Domestic Food review and the new Food Act 2008 will bring positive changes to food safety on the Kapiti Coast and nationally.

“This is a first step for us in bringing about a positive change in the operational conduct, handling practices and training requirements for food premises on the Kapiti Coast.”

ENDS

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