As reported on 11 December (view the news item), there have been some changes to the national legislation regarding food premises.
Changes to legislation means that licensed premises will need to transition to Food Control Plans or National Programmes between 1 March 2016 and 28 February 2019.
The transition period for your business will depend on the type of food premises you are operating.
To find out when your business will need to transition, see the timetable of transition: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/food-safety/food-act-2014/information-for-food-businesses/transition-timetable/
If you aren’t sure how your business is classified, find out where your food premises fits in: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/food-safety/food-act-2014/where-do-i-fit/
Food premises can currently operate under one of three regimes:
- Registration under the Food Hygiene Regulations.
- A template food control plan( restricted to small to medium size food premises such as dairies and restaurants.)
- Individualised food safety plan( complex food premises such as food manufacturing)
A food control plan is a risk-based measure that helps food operators meet their food safety obligations. It concentrates on the processes and procedures that need to be in place to keep food safe.
There are 2 types of food control plans:
- A template food control plan
- An individually developed food control plan (Food Safety Plan).
The type of food control plan a business uses will depend on:
- the level of risk it presents, which is measured by the likelihood of a hazard in the food chain resulting in food-borne illness in terms of a food's intended use
- the uniformity of food businesses in a sector - that is, how similar the processes and procedures one business uses compared with other businesses operating in a specific category.
Template food control plan
The template food control plan is a ready-made set of procedures a food business operator uses to manage the food safety aspects of their business. The food control plan identifies potential food safety risks at each point from receiving and storing goods to preparing, cooking and serving food.
Step-by-step information and checklist-style tools, such as a diary, show staff how to manage those risks to protect customers. The template food control plan is designed to meet the needs of small-to-medium sized, less complex operations but some will apply to broader and more complex groups of businesses, such as hospitals. A template plan has been developed for the food service sector as part of the Voluntary Implementation Programme (VIP).
The template food control plan is administered and registered by Council on behalf of MAF. Those food premises that operate template food control plans are exempt from registration under the Food Hygiene Regulations.
Food Safety Plan (individualised food control plan)
An individualised food control plan ( Food Safety Plan) developed by operators of complex businesses or businesses operating proprietary processes to suit their particular processes. It can be developed from scratch or businesses can adapt a template food control plan. If you develop an individualised plan or adapt one from a template, it must be approved and registered before it is used. These individualised plans known as Food Safety Plans are administered by Ministry for Primary Industries and again are exempt from registration under the Food Hygiene Regulations.
Businesses producing or preparing foods (such as restaurants and takeaways) have an opportunity to register a Food Control Plan which is a risk-based measure that helps food operators meet their food safety obligations. These plans will become a legal requirement with the new Food Act.
Find out more about Food Safety Programmes on the Ministry for Primary Industries website