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Improved food safety system hits the streets

Improved food safety system hits the streets

9 September 2008

Since it was launched in August, over 2000 copies of a Food Control Plan (FCP) especially written for restaurants, cafes and catering businesses have been distributed. Across the country, 58 local councils (over 80%) have signed up to take part in the voluntary scheme to introduce FCPs, meaning most operators of the food businesses will have easy access to them.

The FCP provides operators with a ready-written food safety management system that identifies potential risks at each step of their production process (eg, receiving and storing goods, displaying food etc) and contains procedures to keep food safe at each of those steps. It's accompanied by a suite of complimentary information resources, and is currently available at no charge to food operators registering under the new programme.

Carole Inkster, the New Zealand Food Safety Authority's (NZFSA) Policy Director says the level of interest in the FCP is encouraging but notes that there is still some misunderstanding. "We're disappointed that some people might use the heightened awareness of new systems around managing food safety to offer to develop and sell food operators a programme when the freely-available FCP would meet their needs.

"We'd like to reiterate to food operators that their first port of call on food safety matters should be their local council. While there has always been, and will continue to be, some cost to ensuring food safety, FCPs are currently available free of charge for those who want one," says Carole. Consumers will soon be able to choose to shop at a business using such plans and programmes when a window sticker and information flyers are distributed to participating businesses. The FCP can be obtained from most local councils or downloaded from NZFSA's website (where the list of participating councils can also be found) –


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