Whakatāne District Council is organising workshops to help local food industry operators “get up to speed” on new registration requirements.

The Food Act 2014 came into effect on 1 March 2016, marking the beginning of a three year, phased-transition to the new system, and Council Manager Building and Monitoring, Nick Fowler, is urging all businesses covered by the Act to be proactive in getting signed-up and registered.

“The new legislation applies nationally and the Ministry of Primary Industries has created templates to streamline registration, so we have been contacting local operators to help them work through the process,” Mr Fowler says.

“We have already held one workshop in Whakatāne for 16 operators, and we will be holding another early next year. We are also contracted to hold workshops in Kawerau and Ōpōtiki, and these will also be held early in 2017.”

Mr Fowler says the first group of businesses covered by the transition includes On-Licence food service operators, who are required to register their Food Control Plans by 1 March 2017. Following this, the remaining food service sector businesses and some National Programme Level 3 and Level 2 operators will be required to complete registration by 1 March 2018.  The third and final transition phase will then see remaining food operators register under the new food rules by end of February 2019.

“As with any new legislation and the systems required to implement it, there is a level of complexity involved, and we have put extra staff in place to try to make this process easier,” Mr Fowler says. “If any businesses out there are unsure whether they are affected by the new Food Act, or have any concerns, then get in touch and let us help.”

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