Food Bill passes first reading

  • Kate Wilkinson
Food Safety

The Food Bill has passed its first reading and will head to select committee with unanimous support, says Minister for Food Safety Kate Wilkinson. 

"The Food Act 1981 has not been updated for 30 years and I'm pleased that all parties have agreed to work together on the passage of this Bill," Ms Wilkinson says. 

"I'm confident that when the Food Bill emerges from the scrutiny of the select committee we will be able to implement a regulatory system that offers greater clarity to businesses and more confidence to consumers."

The new Food Bill has been developed over the past three years and is aligned with the New Zealand Standard platform, which provides the basis for our food exports.

It includes Schedules that set out what risk-based measure will apply to each food sector, and increase the number of sectors required to operate under National Programmes.

"Ultimately this Bill will make it easier for food businesses to understand how safe food needs to be produced and ensure they take primary responsibility for everything they sell. 

"Organisers of community-based fundraising activities like cake stalls and sausage sizzles won't need to jump through hoops. 

"Food handler guidance will be made available to these people to help them keep food safe and local councils will have more certainty around their role in regulating food premises."

The Food Bill has been referred to the Primary Production Select Committee and is expected to be reported back on by the end of the year.