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Review of NZFSA risk management processes underway

Review of NZFSA risk management processes underway

31 January 2008

The initial stage of a review of New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) risk management processes is nearing completion.

In mid-December last year Food Safety Minister Lianne Dalziel announced that internationally-renowned food safety expert Dr Stuart Slorach would be undertaking the review.

Dr Slorach has been in New Zealand for the past two weeks, and leaves for Europe today. During his time here he has evaluated NZFSA's systems and processes and met with Minister Dalziel and a wide range of interested parties, including scientists, members of special-interest groups, and representatives of food industry and consumer organisations.

During February Dr Slorach will visit the government food safety agencies of Ireland, Denmark and Sweden with the aim of comparing the approach in New Zealand with that of these highly regarded, European nations.
Dr Slorach is expected to return to New Zealand in late March to finalise his review, with Ministerial consideration of the final report and recommendations in the second quarter of the year.

Dr Slorach has been given full access to NZFSA files, staff and resources during his time in New Zealand. "I have had an opportunity to meet with people from a range of backgrounds and over the next month will be assessing the material I have gathered during my time here. My next step will be to undertake an assessment of NZFSA's decision-making processes compared with those of the other food safety agencies."

Food Safety Minister Lianne Dalziel has stated: "Dr Slorach has extensive experience in this area. He was Chair of the Management Board of the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) during its critical establishment phase, and Chair of the international food standards setting agency, the Codex Alimentarius."

Dr Slorach also chaired an independent enquiry set up by the Norwegian government into the handling of an outbreak of foodborne illness caused by E.coli O103:H25 in Norway in early 2006

ENDS

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