Auckland Council’s Governing Body today approved proposed improvements to the council’s existing Food Safety Bylaw for public consultation beginning in early 2020.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says: “These proposed changes will help protect the health of Aucklanders when dining at cafes, restaurants, takeaways and other establishments.
“Aucklanders expect a high level of food safety from restaurants and other food businesses, and the proposed improvements to the Food Safety Bylaw will help incentivise businesses to maintain high standards,” he says.
Councillor Linda Cooper, chair of the Regulatory Committee, said with the current bylaw due to expire in May 2020 the council has looked at what was working and what could be improved.
“Under the current bylaw 6,712 Auckland only based restaurants, cafés, bars, and takeaways serving food to the public are required to display a food grade.
“This requirement to display a food grade has support from the public, operators, and health experts. It is working, and it will continue, alongside a new proposed bylaw requirement to display food grades online.
“Over time, we have seen improvements in the number of ‘A’ food grades issued to food businesses. This year almost 95 per cent of those verified by the council received an ‘A’ grade, up from 88 percent in 2017. Only 0.1 per cent of food business were issued a ‘D’ or ‘E’ food grade.
“We are also looking at improvements to make the rules for displaying food grades clearer and to ensure the bylaw remains consistent with the requirements of Food Act,” said Councillor Cooper.
Aucklanders will be asked for their views on the proposal during public consultation early next year before any final decisions are made by the council.
What are the key proposed changes?
Continue to require most Auckland food businesses, that are registered with and verified by the council, to display a food grade if they serve the public to help incentivise improved food safety and help the public make informed decisions.
Require the food grade to be displayed until it expires, or a new food grade is issued.
Require the food grade to be displayed in specified locations visible to the public prior to entering a premises. It would also require businesses to display their food grade online.
Ensure consistency with the requirements of the Food Act 2014.
To learn more about the proposed Food Safety Bylaw see the Governing Body agenda (Item 10). Food businesses and the public will have an opportunity to have their say on the proposed bylaw changes in early 2020.
The council and the Ministry of Primary Industries use powers under the Food Act 2014 to ensure Auckland food businesses sell safe and suitable food. The council’s Food Safety Bylaw complements the Act to help raise public awareness and incentivise improved food safety by requiring most Auckland food businesses to display a food grade.