Council Food Safety COVID-19 Level 3 Advisory
The New Zealand Government has announced what Alert Level 3 will mean for food businesses and KDC is keen to help you get your business back up and running.
New Zealand Food Safety (NZFS) have sent out an email to all food businesses outlining the steps to getting up and running at alert level 3. If you have not received the email contact the Kaikōura District Council Environmental Health Team at Food and Health (firstname.lastname@example.org) and they will pass on the information. If you have received the email and have questions or need to make changes to how your business operates also contact the Kaikōura District Council Environmental Health Team at Food and Health (email@example.com).
The key message is that food delivery, drive-through, online shopping or options such as click-and-collect can begin from 11:59 pm on Monday 27 April. However, you cannot open your physical retail storefront to customers unless you are a supermarket, dairy or petrol station. If your business is able to reopen there are several questions that need to be answered first.
What changes or additions will you have to make to the way you do business?
Are there any implications for your Food Control Plan or National Programme?
If you are unsure give the Council Food Act Verifier (Environmental Health Team), Leia Manewell a call on 0272246571 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are planning to provide services or products that you have not offered before, for example deliveries, takeaways or selling food to other businesses (wholesaling), you must contact your Council and talk to them, to make sure you are not operating outside of your scope. Any changes will need to be notified to the Council in the first instance. The Council Food Team will be able to help you with the process.
If your verification is due the Council will ask you to have your verification, which would be done remotely. Remote checks have been introduced by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) - New Zealand Food Safety (NZFS). This enables verifiers to assess businesses, that are due for a scheduled verification, without having to go onsite. In most cases the remote check will replace the onsite verification. The verifier will contact the food business to establish the technology capabilities, so they can determine whether this can go ahead. They will then request certain records and test the technology with the operator before proceeding to the remote check process. Council verifiers have been trained and approved by NZFS for these remote checks and will be able to talk you through the process. Click here for the NZFS website.
Check your premises and services are ready for re-opening, NZFS have a checklist that you can use. Click here for the checklist.
You will need to remember that if your menu is online, your customers will have lost the ability to ask about allergens. If taking orders over the phone, ensure staff ask if anyone has allergies or make sure the information is available on your website or in some other form.
For more information about Food Safety at Alert Level 3 follow this link to the MPI website: MPI Food Safety at Alert Level 3