Get an early start on food changes and save costs

20 July 2015

Food operators in Waikato district are being urged to sign up now for new food regulations.

From 1 March 2016, high-risk food businesses (such as cafes, restaurants and catering establishments) will be required to operate under national legislation Food Control Plans (FCPs). Administered by the Ministry for Primary Industries, FCPs are designed to give businesses the tools to manage food safety themselves.

Waikato District Council Environmental Health Team Leader, Alan Parkes, says his team has been preparing local outlets for the new requirements for a number of weeks.

“We’ve been talking to businesses about the positive effect the new legislation will have on the safety of food for sale. 20 Waikato businesses have already signed up to a registered Food Control Plan with  another 125 businesses still eligible to register.

“If businesses sign up before March 2016 our team can spend valuable time with them to implement the plan. However from next March, when it’s mandatory for new businesses to adopt a FCP, we may have limited time to spend with individual operators given the rush to sign up, and there may be associated costs.

“Signing up now enables operators to get a head start on the rest of the industry without the overheads.”

He says it’s great to see food operators in the district embracing this significant change and taking food safety seriously. “Customers should always feel that a high level of precaution is taken to ensure their health and safety.”

One of the first in Waikato district to embrace the national changes to food legislation is Raglan’s popular food establishment, The Shack.

The Shack owner, Justin Thomson, says “Food is one thing we all have in common so our team understands it’s important we correctly handle, care and prepare it for everyone to enjoy."

Alan Parkes says “The Shack was eager to sign up now which is exciting as it shows their commitment to food safety and reinforces our commitment to the new programme.”

Read more about the new  Food Control Plans or phone 0800 492 452 to speak to an Environmental Health Officer.

 


For more information please contact:

Nicole Nooyen
Communications Advisor
Waikato District Council
07 824 8633 Extn: 5649
027 889 3084
nicole.nooyen@waidc.govt.nz