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No red tape for Kiwi sausage sizzle

Lianne Dalziel

18 September, 2008
No red tape for Kiwi sausage sizzle

Traditional Kiwi sausage sizzles, fundraisers, club functions, church fairs and school galas will not be affected by proposed rules that will require commercial food or catering businesses to put food safety management plans (called Food Control Plans) in place, Food Safety Minister Lianne Dalziel confirmed today.

Lianne Dalziel was responding to what she described as misinformation circulating around a new and improved food safety regime, which is still a long way off implementation.

"We haven't even finalised the proposed Food Bill, let alone introduced it into Parliament yet and I am hearing that people running cake stalls at community fairs will have to have their kitchens inspected by the authorities. It is nonsense.

"When the new rules do come in, most commercial businesses selling or serving food will be required to operate Food Control Plans which document their food safety practices. Standard templates for these Food Control Plans will be available for different sectors from the NZ Food Safety Authority free of charge – so anyone who is saying you need to hire a consultant might have a vested interest.

"New Zealanders who are dining in commercially catered premises quite rightly expect that certain levels of food hygiene are being met. Food borne illness is still a huge issue in this country and we're determined to combat it.

"But let me make this crystal clear: those community activities that are part of the very fabric of the Kiwi way of life will not be regulated by Food Control Plans – not now, not ever, never. Sausage sizzles, cake stalls, bring and buy events, school or church fairs, bring a plate afternoon teas, pot luck dinners – no-one organising these is going to have to register a plan or have their kitchens inspected," Lianne Dalziel said.

Lianne Dalziel told delegates at NZFSA's annual conference in Rotorua today that Territorial Authorities (TAs) will continue to have responsibility for authorising community and charity events as they do now, and in the future will issue guidance, developed by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA), to give people advice on safe food handling practices.

Sports clubs had been targeted by a misinformation campaign that had been formulated without even seeing the legislation which will not be introduced for at least two months, Lianne Dalziel said.


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