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Food for sale draft rules

17 June 08

Importers of food for sale now have the chance to influence draft rules affecting them that aim to give consumers more assurance about the food they eat. The new rules are detailed in two proposed standards recently released for consultation by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA). If they are adopted, every person who imports food for sale for human consumption will be governed by the two new food standards.

mporters will be required to list details such as their company's trading name and physical address, a contact person's name and postal address with NZFSA. They will also be required to keep, or have access to, records that show how the products they import for sale comply with all applicable New Zealand legislation, that their food products have been produced, transported and stored safely, as well as purchase records and relevant supplier information. Carol Barnao,

NZFSA's Standards Director says the proposals are a result of a review into New Zealand's food importing system which recommended that NZFSA update controls on imported foods. "Since the review, we have been working with industry representatives to design a new imported food programme," says Carol.

"The proposed standards are the first stage of the new programme which will eventually see all imported foods grouped into one of three categories according to the risk they pose.

The regulatory controls placed on them will be relative to that risk. Importers of products that pose a low food safety risk will need to comply with the two new proposed standards, while importers of other products will need to be aware of other clearance requirements that might apply to them". The consultation paper covering the proposed standards is available from NZFSA's website – www.nzfsa.govt.nz or by calling NZFSA on 0800 693 721. Submissions are due by 5 August.

ENDS

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