The introduction of the new Food Act just over a year ago brought about a shift in focus for businesses as they work towards a food safety culture and is ultimately starting to deliver on its objective of making food businesses more accountable and keeping their customers safe.
With recent COVID-19 developments, a strong food safety culture is now even more critical for our industry. That said, business operators have been on a steep learning curve as they have collectively navigated the new regulatory landscape and worked to overcome various challenges along the way.
The question is now, how to simplify the process?
“Working with a partner that has a deep knowledge of the legislation and how this can add value to a food business is a good first step” says Lynsey Saunders, Operations Manager at AsureQuality – New Zealand’s largest provider of food assurance services to the food and primary production sector.
“This alone can save hours in terms of helping a business understand what they are required to do and the plan that they need to have in place in order to be compliant,” she says.
Working closely alongside customers as they adapt to the new changes over the past year has given the team of Risk Based Measure Auditors at AsureQuality a unique insight into some common pain-points for many businesses. It’s about doing what we can to simplify things, says Lynsey.
“Small things, like making sure the audit is booked well in advance, so a business owner is fully prepared, can make a big difference. We also use online reporting tools to make the auditing processes more efficient. This technology means that a business operator has the auditing report in their inbox as soon as our people leave the premises, so any improvements and recommendations can be actioned immediately,” she says.
Those businesses that have embraced the changes set out in the Food Act have seen that – once you have the right processes in place, and if you are working with the right partner – the benefits to your business and customers can be immense.