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New 0800 Number Set Up for Consumers

3 July 2002

Want to know what to do to avoid Campylobacter and other food-borne illnesses? It's simple - just ring 0800 NZFSA1.

0800 NZFSA1 (0800 693 721) began operating this week with the launch of the New Zealand Food Safety Authority, Te Pou Oranga Kai O Aotearoa.

NZFSA executive director Dr Andrew McKenzie said the 0800 number would be a vital communication tool for consumers.

"Our operator will be able to provide consumers with accurate and comprehensive information about whatever concerns them. The 0800 line will also enable the Authority to gain valuable information about what issues and concerns people have about food safety," he said.

The new Authority combines the food functions of MAF Food and the Ministry of Health in one agency and will provide a more integrated approach to food safety. Previously the Ministry of Health administered the Food Act covering food sold domestically and MAF administered legislation surrounding primary production, processing and exports. The New Zealand Food Safety Authority is a semi-autonomous body attached to MAF.

"Bringing these functions together under one agency will enable New Zealand to provide consistency in the management of food safety from the beginning of the food chain to the end," Dr McKenzie said.

"One of our main aims is to ensure that all New Zealanders have confidence in the food they purchase and consume. If there is a problem or consumers have a concern relating to food, then they can ring the 0800 number and they will either be given the information they require or put on to the appropriate agency."

The 0800 number will initially operate during business hours. Another source of useful information for consumers will be the NZFSA website. The address is www.nzfsa.govt.nz.

Ends


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