Food safety rules consultation feedback

MPI consulted on proposed changes to food safety regulations and notices. Submissions on this consultation closed on 5 December 2016. Review our responses to your feedback and check our answers to some commonly asked questions.


What we changed after we read your feedback

You said:Our response:When this will happen:
Some of the deregulatory proposals aren't necessary – there's enough flexibility in the regulations already for things to be tailored to each business type. We have focused the final deregulatory proposals on areas where the case for change is strongest. Guidance is being issued to help businesses and verifiers know what they have to do. Mid 2017
The proposals for greater flexibility surrounding verification timelines won't do enough to help business. We have extended our proposals. All new national programme and template FCP businesses will have a standard 6 week (increased from 4 week) timeframe for initial verification. Registration authorities are able to extend this time further by up to 6 weeks (increased from 4 weeks). Mid 2017
Territorial authorities need guidance to ensure consistency of decision making when extending verification timelines. Guidance for territorial authorities on how they could exercise their new discretionary powers will be issued. This will promote consistent decision making. A draft will be released to councils for comment during May 2017
There's no need to include reports from technical experts in the verifier's report – this could increase costs. The requirement to include any expert reports has been removed. N/A

Other Food Act feedback

Through this consultation, you raised some other issues about the Food Act. We are addressing these as part of our implementation programme.

You said:Our response:When this will happen:
Businesses need help in getting their heads around the new Act's requirements.

MPI is producing resources in a number of formats, including digital tools, leaflets, videos and translations. Examples include the Where Do I fit tool, videos and case studies to help businesses understand the law in particular situations.

Use the Where do I fit? Tool

Read Food Act case studies

We are working with businesses to produce resources that meet their needs. For example, we have redesigned the template food control plan to make it easier to use.

Our ongoing communications work includes press releases, social media, and live Q&A sessions for industry. We share information via industry networks, and conduct advertising, especially targeting smaller businesses and foreign language communities.

We have held ongoing workshops for businesses. This includes over 20 joint MPI/ local council workshops, attended by more than 2000 people, and more than 25 industry-hosted events.

We are improving our help-desk capability by providing extra training to call centre staff, and assigned extra technical experts to answer more specific questions. More than 90% of Food Act enquiries are answered in less than 24 hours.

From March 2017
Businesses need more guidance.

New national programme guidance is being released.

New guidance is being released on safe food packaging for importers and other food businesses.

By 30 June 2017
Problems are being experienced with the verification system.

A workshop was held with councils and third party verifies in November 2016 to identify problems and solutions. MPI is now leading development of a verifier training academy, implementing a fast-track training and assessment programme, developing mapping tools to help businesses find a verifier, and verifiers to forecast demand for their services, assessing whether remote verification is feasible, and helping deploy verifiers to areas of greatest need.

Throughout 2017

MPI developed additional guidance for verifiers and businesses about the expected time (and cost) of verification, and further guidance for verifiers about what is expected to be checked.

Released December 2016

Problems are being experienced in the early childhood sector.

MPI is working with the early childhood education sector to implement the Food Act. This includes:

  • workshops for early childhood education providers
  • working with industry bodies and the Ministry of Education to revise and tailor information on the Food Act for the early childhood education sector
  • addressing any concerns (such as the availability and cost of verifiers).

Information for ECE providers and kōhanga reo

From March 2017

Commonly asked questions

  1. I've just registered under the new Food Act – if there's changes to the rules, do I have to do anything?
    Most people will just need to keep making safe and suitable food. Your verifier will be able to advise (for example) if there are any records that you no longer need to keep.
  2. I also made a submission on proposed new notices – did my submission get considered?
    At the same time as the consultation on new regulations, we consulted on new Food Act notices. The results of that consultation are coming soon. 
  3. How do I request an extension to my initial verification?
    You need to contact your registration authority. For template food control plans and national programme businesses, this will be your local council. For multi-site businesses and custom food control plans, this will be MPI. 
    You can't request an extension until the new rules come into force in mid 2017.
  4. I didn't see my views represented in the submissions summary. 
    All submissions were considered. The summary is a general overview of what people said and doesn't address each submission individually. Some submissions were about things that aren't addressed in this package. These matters have been referred to our implementation team.
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