Review of proposed changes to the Requirements for Recognised Agencies and Persons Food Notice

Closing Date:
Contact: Food and beverage group

UPDATE – 30 September 2020

Following consultation, the final Food Notice on Requirements for Recognised Agencies and Persons has been issued together with the summary of submissions.

Food Notice: Requirements for Recognised Agencies and Persons [PDF, 268 KB]

Summary of submissions [PDF, 230 KB]

 

Have your say

New Zealand Food Safety is seeking public feedback on proposed changes to the Requirements for Recognised Agencies and Persons Food Notice. A number of things have changed since this Notice was issued in May 2017, and the draft amendments to the Notice reflect these changes.

Consultation document

Proposed updated Requirements for Recognised Agencies and Persons Food Notice (draft) [PDF, 771 KB]

Related information

Requirements for Recognised Agencies and Persons Food Notice [PDF, 268 KB]

Remote verification of food businesses

What is the notice about?

The Food Act 2014 (the Act), which came into effect in March 2016, introduced a risk-based approach to managing food safety. The Food Act requires that food business operators take responsibility for ensuring food is safe and suitable, and for specialist verifiers to check that food rules are being followed.

Issued in May 2017, the Requirements for Recognised Agencies and Persons Food Notice sets the requirements for people and organisations wanting to be recognised to carry out verification functions under the Food Act 2014. The Notice applies to individual verifiers and the agencies they work for, which includes councils and private companies.

What are the proposed changes?

The draft amendments to the Notice reflect changes in the verification space since May 2017. The proposed changes will:

  • set a requirement for remote verifiers to be recognised
  • set out the remote verification process that recognised remote verifiers need to follow
  • set out the process for the continuing professional development of recognised persons
  • remove references to deemed recognised agencies and persons
  • set out a requirement for recognised agencies and persons to follow a verification process specified by New Zealand Food Safety.

Making your submission

Email your submission by 5pm on 20 December 2019 to foodact.2014@mpi.govt.nz

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

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

What to include

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.

Background Information

The Act was still in an introductory period in May 2017, with rules made for “deeming” verifiers making the transition from the old to the new approach. The introductory period concluded on 1 April 2019, so the Notice no longer needs to provide information about deeming verifiers.

During the introductory period for the Act, New Zealand Food Safety introduced a risk-based approach to verification. This enables verifiers to focus resources on the matters of greatest impact to food safety and suitability at food businesses, where potentially the biggest gains for the safety of consumers are to be made. The Notice requires verifiers to follow this verification method.

New Zealand Food Safety also developed an electronic reporting system. The Notice requires verification findings to be recorded in this system.

In July 2019, New Zealand Food Safety launched a remote verification process for food businesses, together with a recognition process for becoming a remote verifier. Remote verification, and the verifier recognition process, are included in the proposed changes to the Notice.

New Zealand Food Safety has also introduced a continuing professional development (CPD) system for verifiers. The aim of CPD is to enable verifiers to maintain, enhance, and develop their professional and technical skills, knowledge, and expertise. The Notice sets out the process verifiers need to follow to meet their CPD requirements.

Submissions are public information

Note that any submission you make becomes public information. People can ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we have to make submissions available unless we have a good reason for withholding them. That is explained 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 that 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 tell us to release it.

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