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World Food Safety Day – Prepare For The Unexpected

Today is World Food Safety Day and New Zealand Food Safety (NZFS) is reminding food businesses and consumers to be ‘prepared for the unexpected’.

“New Zealand has a strong food safety system, however from time to time, things can go wrong,” says NZFS deputy director-general Vincent Arbuckle. “Our readiness to respond when this happens is a key part of ensuring food is safe and suitable for the 5 million plus New Zealanders and millions overseas that enjoy our products.

“This year’s theme – prepare for the unexpected – is a timely reminder for food businesses and consumers that we can all play our part to be prepared for adverse events.”

NZFS works with food businesses to help them get ready to respond to potential food incidents, from conducting simulated food recalls to knowing what to do at a food business after natural disasters and emergencies.

Consumers can ensure they are prepared by signing up for food recall alerts to stay on top of recalled foods, and familiarising themselves with our information on food safety in the home during an emergency.

“World Food Safety Day is also an opportunity to highlight our newly launched Listeria campaign that we hope will save lives and emphasise to our pregnant and older population (65+) that some risks are just not worth taking,” says Mr Arbuckle. Have a look at symptoms of Listeria infection and our advice on how to avoid it here.

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“We have also undertaken a survey into consumers’ food safety habits, which is informing our approach to protecting New Zealanders from getting sick from food. After all, everybody eats, and we want to help people prepare and enjoy food safely.

“One of the highlights of the survey is that 83% of people say they use the health star rating system when buying a packaged food or drink for the first time. We will be working with industry and consumers to continue to boost uptake.”

Have a look at our just-published survey here.

Learn more about preparing and consuming food safety in a natural disaster or emergency on our website: Food safety in natural disasters and emergencies | NZ Government (mpi.govt.nz)

Sign up for food recall alerts on our website: Food recall information for consumers | NZ Government (mpi.govt.nz)

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