Free workshops help Wellington businesses with new food law

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Media contact: MPI media team
Telephone: 029 894 0328

A free workshop in Wellington will help businesses understand the new Food Act.

Food business owners will also have a chance to influence how they follow the rules, in a second workshop on the same day.

The workshops, being run by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), will take place on Monday 3 October.

The new Food Act, which came into effect in March this year, aims to improve food safety by moving to a risk-based approach.

Sally Johnston, Manager Food and Beverage at MPI, says “new rules can be tricky, and we want to make the transition as easy as possible."

"The morning workshop is a great opportunity for businesses to find out what the changes mean for them, and speak to staff from MPI and Wellington City Council about any questions they have. We’ve been holding similar workshops around the country, and people say they are really helpful."

"In the afternoon, we’ll be testing new designs for the template food control plan, which businesses like restaurants, cafes, bakers, butchers and delis need to use. If you want to have a say in how these resources can work better for you, this is your chance."

The new law introduces different types of regulation for different businesses. Higher risk businesses, like restaurants and cafes, use written plans for managing food safety, called food control plans. National programmes provide a set of food safety rules for medium and low-risk food businesses, like those who make jam or sell tea and coffee.

"The plans are there to make food safety easier,” says Sally Johnston "and we want to work with businesses to make them the best resource possible".

Businesses that make or sell food in New Zealand need to comply with the new Food Act at different times over the next 3 years.

Businesses can also use a tool on the MPI website, called 'Where do I Fit?', to find out how the law applies to them.

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