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NZFSA plans domestic food review

NZFSA plans domestic food review

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority is reviewing New Zealand’s domestic food programme.

NZFSA executive director Dr Andrew McKenzie announced the review to 250 delegates at the Authority’s inaugural conference in Auckland today.

“When the NZFSA was set up in July 2002, one of the Government’s expectations was that it would review the domestic food regulatory programme,” Dr McKenzie said.

“Domestic food covers all food sold and produced in New Zealand, including food sold in supermarkets, cafes and restaurants. At this stage we are formulating a strategy. The review is likely to mean major changes to the way we ensure food for sale in New Zealand is safe.”

“The ultimate aim of this review is to improve food safety for consumers. We want a system that is practical and consistent and one that protects consumers. At the same time we need to be mindful of regulatory and compliance costs. We’ll be working hard to strike a balance between these issues. Naturally we’ll be consulting with the industry as well as those involved in the regulatory programme.”

“One proposal we are currently looking at is the idea of food control plans. These would be put in place by food businesses utilising NZFSA recognised codes of practice, models and templates. The plans would be based on relevant good hygienic and good manufacturing practices and be based on the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) principles. They would continue to incorporate science-based and risk based approaches to food control wherever appropriate. This is only one proposal that we will be considering in the review but nothing is set in concrete at this stage,” Dr McKenzie said.

“However it is clear to NZFSA that something needs to be done about the domestic food sector. The current hygiene regulations that apply to most food businesses are outdated and enforcement of them is inconsistent.”

“Consultation with the industry has already begun and we expect the whole process will take several years,” Dr McKenzie said.

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