The Food Act 2014
- The central feature of the new Act is that businesses will be regulated according to the level of food safety risk that their food presents to the public.
- The new law recognises that each business is different and is a positive step forward from the old Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 and its one size-fits-all approach to food safety. This means that a “corner” dairy operator who reheats meat pies won’t be treated in the same way as the pie manufacturer.
- Food providers that are involved in higher risk activities, like making cheese or preparing meals, will operate under a food control plan (FCP), whereas those involved in lower risk activities, like selling pre-packaged goods or growing vegetables, will operate under a national programme.
- The Act only covers food that is produced and sold or traded commercially.
- Growing food for personal use and sharing it with others, including ‘Bring a plate” to a club committee meeting or a lunch for a visiting sports team or social group, is outside the scope of the Food Act.
- Trading of seeds for planting will not be covered by the Act.
- Unlike the old regime or Regulations, the new Act provides a clear exemption to allow Kiwi traditions like fundraising sausage sizzles or home baking at school fairs to take place. These activities don’t need a written plan or a programme, nor do they need to register with MPI or pay any fees. However, people will still need to ensure that their food is safe and suitable. Free guidance material available on selling safe food can be found on the the MPI website.
- For information on what rules will apply to you, please visit MPI website “Where do I fit?”. This simple and easy to use online tool will help you discover if you need a Food Control Plan, or to operate under a National Programme.