New Zealand food businesses on Friday welcomed a trio of new food safety tools, designed to make it faster, easier and more affordable to follow the rules and keep consumers safe.
Food Safety Minister Damien O'Connor launched remote verification, 'My food rules' and My Food Plan in Nelson on Friday (19 July).
"Food safety is about people – so everyone has a role to play in food safety and in the spirit of manaakitanga," deputy director-general, New Zealand Food Safety, Bryan Wilson said.
"At the heart of these innovations was listening to what people need, and finding the simplest way to provide it, with a particular focus on removing compliance challenges faced by small and regional domestic food businesses.
"These innovative tools were co-designed with food businesses, councils and verifiers and reflect a modern and common-sense approach to food safety regulation.
"Remote verification is believed to be a world-first for regulatory food safety, which will reduce the need for verifiers to travel to businesses in regional, rural or other hard-to-reach locations.
"Using Skype on a smartphone or other device, remote verification could save remote food businesses substantial time and cost.
"The new online tools 'My food rules' and My Food Plan transform the functionality of online food business registration – with innovative, time and money-saving solutions.
"'My food rules' is the fastest and easiest way for food businesses to find out what food rules they need to follow – the right plan or programme, the right registration authority and the right verifier.
"An output of 'My food rules' is the new, custom Food Control Plan option for businesses who make high-risk foods and need to have a plan that covers multiple Food Act registrations – called My Food Plan.
"This is a game-changer for food businesses, because instead of potentially spending up to $25,000 and up to 9 months developing a custom plan from scratch, they can have a pre-evaluated My Food Plan that can be registered within 20 days.