It’s the final countdown for businesses that make, sell or transport food to meet the 28 February 2019 Food Act registration deadline. This includes food manufacturing, such as manufacturers of dried/dehydrated fruit or vegetables, confectionery, meat, poultry, fish products, dairy products and fresh ready-to-eat salads.
New Zealand Food Safety (a business unit of the Ministry for Primary Industries/MPI), is urging owners/managers of all New Zealand businesses that make, sell or transport food, which have not registered yet, to find out immediately if they need to register a plan or programme under the Food Act 2014.
The Food Act came into force on 1 March 2016 and introduced a common-sense, risk-based approach to food safety.
New Zealand Food Safety’s Manager Food & Beverage, Sally Johnston said that under the Food Act all people growing, making, transporting and selling food had a responsibility to keep it safe and suitable.
“Most New Zealand food businesses have now registered, which is excellent,” Ms Johnston said. “New Zealand Food Safety, local councils and industry organisations are working hard to help all remaining businesses to meet the 28 February 2019 deadline for registration.
“If existing food businesses are not registered by the 28 February deadline, they will be operating unregistered businesses, their retail customers may refuse to accept their goods or use their services, and MPI and local councils may need to take enforcement action. So, immediate action needs to be taken to get registered.
“We want make it easier for businesses to make safe and suitable food and comply with food safety requirements.”
Under the Food Act, new food businesses have to register as soon as they start trading and existing food businesses (operating under the Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 or Food Act 1981) had from 1 March 2016 until 28 February 2019 to register in stages, with a different groups registering each year.
“If a business wants to find out what rules they need to follow and how to register, they can use the online tool Where Do I Fit? as a starting point – www.mpi.govt.nz/where-do-i-fit,” Ms Johnston said.
“For questions about the registration process and deadline, please contact your local council, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 00 83 33.”