Food and Fundraising
Currently the New Zealand Food Bill is under review. The current legislation is over 30 years old and needs updating. The new bill covers all food for sale in New Zealand its key purpose is to ensure that any food for sale is safe for people to eat.
What it means for your work
For bake sales, sausage sizzles, etc., it will have little impact on traditional fundraising activities. However a number of questions have been raised recently in the media so it is useful to have some information about its intent. Included below are some questions and answers from www.foodsafety.govt.nz
How will fund-raising galas and sausage sizzles be treated under the Food Bill?
This is an important part of Kiwiana that the Food Bill protects. Fundraising activities can continue as they always have. Organisers and stallholders at charitable and community events such as sausage sizzles, homebake sales, and other fundraising events will not require registration provided they occur no more than 20 times a year (by charity or individual). Organisers and stallholders will be able to access 'food handler guidance' tips and advice on how to prepare food safely.
Will fundraisers be required to register?
No. Those running fundraising activities are not currently required to register under the Food Act 1981 and this will not change under the Food Bill.
How will farmers' markets or other community markets be affected by the Food Bill?
It is recognised that a wide range of food selling activities take place in such markets. Therefore how any individual stall holder is regulated will depend on the level of risk presented by the product being offered for sale.
It is also important to note that the Food Bill does not propose a single regulatory approach as is the case with the current Food Act 1981. The Bill proposes three tools that can be used to ensure the production and/or sale of safe and suitable food. Two of these are regulatory: food control plans and national programmes (of which there are three levels); and one is non-regulatory: food handler guidance (an educative set of tips on how to produce and maintain safe food).
Stall holders at farmers' (or other community) markets will be subject to one of these three tools depending on the level of risk presented by the product being offered for sale. Many will be able to operate under food handler guidance.
However for those stall holders that are dealing in higher risk foods, or selling products that they have not produced themselves, then one of the other regulatory tools are likely to apply to them. For example those selling raw meat will be regulated the same as any butchery and will be required to operate under a food control plan. For those selling medium or lower risk foods a national programme is likely to apply.
For more information about any aspect of this bill visit www.foodsafety.govt.nz