Press Release – Dunedin City Council
Food law changes from today
Dunedin (Tuesday, 1 March 2016) – A new law for all businesses that sell food comes into effect today.
Dunedin City Council Manager Environmental Health and Animal Services Ros MacGill says, “The Food Act 2014 is designed to modernise food safety in New Zealand. It will make it easier for businesses to make sure their food is safe.”
From today, anyone who starts a business that involves food must follow the new law. This includes restaurants, dairies, market stalls or internet cake sellers.
Existing businesses also need to make changes, although they have longer to do so.
The new law applies to a wide range of businesses and includes any which make, sell, grow or transport food commercially. This includes those who serve food as part of their business, like rest homes or schools.
Ms MacGill says, “In Dunedin this new law applies to about 715 food operators. Of those, 481 are already operating voluntarily under the new system. Due to the high number of early adopters over the past five years, the transition into the new Act should be relatively seamless for most food business operators in Dunedin.”
The DCC will send letters this week to all local food operators, outlining what’s next and where to get advice.
“Environmental Health Officers will now be working closely with the remaining businesses to help them with the changes.”
Ms MacGill says although the new law starts today, existing food businesses don’t have to make changes straight away. They will move over to the new Act at different times over a three-year transition period.
The new law is designed to help businesses and consumers. It moves from a one size fits all approach to one that regulates businesses according to risk. This will help keep regulation and costs down for many businesses, especially lower risk businesses, such as those who grow fruit and vegetables or sell only pre-packed food.
The Ministry for Primary Industries has provided information so businesses can see how the new law applies to them. Businesses should visit www.mpi.govt.nz/foodact to find out what they need to do.