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Proposals for preparing red meat mince safely

Update – 14 August 2017

Submissions released

A summary of the submissions received for this consultation is available

The consultation closed on 8 August 2017.

Have your say

Feedback from chefs is that they would like to be able to cook mince (especially minced burger patties) to medium/medium rare under the template food control plan.

MPI has worked with chefs, environmental health offers and food scientists to develop a specialist section for both official template food control plans.  The specialist page is written in the "Know, Do, Show" format from the Simply Safe & Suitable template. The section will allow red meat mince for medium/medium rare burgers, and other meat specialities like steak tartare, to be safely served lightly cooked or raw. (Carpaccio is already covered in the templates (refer to section 10.6 (Serve) –  Whole cuts and whole joints of meat – and the ‘Cooking food’ page in Simply Safe & Suitable).

We want to know if the specialist section works for you? Have we got it right?  

Please note: Two of the processes included in the consultation are sanitising and blanch-in-a-bag.  The scientific validation for these methods is ongoing.  If there is insufficient evidence for it to be included in this amendment for the official template food control plans, and there is high demand for the process, further research would need to be commissioned so it could be added at a later date.

The consultation opens 25 July and closes on 8 August.

Consultation documents

The specialist section on preparing minced red meat would be added to either of the 2 official template food control plans. Businesses would be able to choose which preparation and corresponding cooking method they use

Questions to consider

You can tell us anything you think about the new section, but some questions we are interested in are:

  1. What do you think of the new section for preparing red meat (beef, lamb and venison) mince?
  2. Does the section include everything you need to know? If not, what have we missed?
  3. Does the order of the steps make sense?
  4. Does the section give you all the information you need to prepare red meat mince safely?
  5. After reading the section, do you understand what you have to do?
  6. Would it be practical to use in your business? If not, can you explain why?
  7. Would you use the sanitising method? Can you tell us about any sanitising methods for red meat?
  8. What do you like about the new section?
  9. What improvements could we make?

Background to consultation

The new Food Act, which came into effect in March 2016, introduced a risk-based approach to managing food safety. Higher-risk food businesses need to use a food control plan. These are written plans that identify food safety risks and set out how they will be managed on a day-to-day basis.

Both of the official template food control plans (Simply Safe & Suitable, and Food Service and Food Retail) set out how to manage food safety risks. Currently the templates require that minced meat is cooked thoroughly to manage the risks associated with such a high risk product.

The Food Act 2014 requires that you take responsibility for ensuring food is safe and suitable. Businesses need to be aware of the risks and be able to show how they are managing them.

When preparing red meat mince (beef, lamb and venison only) so it can safely be served lightly cooked or raw, it is even more important to manage food safety well. This is because there will always be harmful bugs on the outside of meat and it only takes a few of these bugs (for example, E.Coli or Salmonella) to make people sick. Mincing spreads these bugs through the meat.

Who is the section for?

Food service businesses such as restaurants, cafes, takeaways, caterers, on or off-site caterers and other users of the food control plan templates.

When do you need to use the section?

Food service businesses operating under an official template food control plan wanting to lightly cook minced red meat (beef, lamb and venison only), or to serve red meat raw must use this specialist section.

Making your submission

Make sure you include in your submission:

  • the title of the document in the subject line of your email
  • your name and title (if applicable)
  • your organisation's name (if applicable)
  • your address.

While we prefer email, you can send your submission by post to:

Food Implementation Programme
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140
New Zealand.

Submissions are public information

Any submission you make becomes public information. Anyone can ask for copies of all submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we must make the information available unless we have a good reason for withholding it. You can find those grounds in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA. Tell us if you think there are grounds to withhold specific information in your submission. Reasons might include, it's commercially sensitive or it's personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may require the information be released.