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Council gains internationally recognised standard in food safety verification

First territorial authority in New Zealand to be accredited under ISO 17020

Published: 6 January 2020

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Quality assured

Gaining an international accreditation for food safety verification will allow Auckland Council to provide quality ongoing services for food businesses operating in the region. 

The council is the first territorial authority in New Zealand to be accredited under ISO 17020 international standard for inspection bodies.

“The accreditation assures our customers that council verifiers are competent, and we use effective systems and procedures to produce consistently reliable results,” Licensing and Regulatory Compliance Principal Specialist Sharmila Narayan says.

Sharmila says the council can now provide verification services for food businesses registered under Custom Food Control Plans (Food Service and Retail), Template Food Control Plans and National Programmes.

Not only does the accreditation allow the council to work alongside new food businesses in Auckland and around New Zealand, but it will also lead to more investment in staff and resources and strengthen existing relationships.

Foodco New Zealand General Manager Jon Hassall acknowledges the credential and says it’s a “great achievement”.

“We have worked closely with the council for our Auckland based cafes and am therefore thrilled to strengthen this partnership across the country and offer our franchise business partners an even better level of service and accreditation.”

He says Auckland Council has assisted franchisees in store for Foodco’s brands, Muffin Break and Jamaica Blue and supported the Foodco office in rolling out their internal documentation based on their expertise in transitions through food safety legislation and conducting verifications.

“It is a great achievement and ensures effective systems and procedures are in place to ensure consistent verifications and support which can only further strengthen the relationship.”

Chair of the Regulatory Committee Councillor Linda Cooper says by gaining accreditation, the council can continue to provide a high quality of service for business operating in the region. 

“Our Auckland community can be confident that the food standard rating is a bona fide qualification that they can trust,” she says.

Auckland Council’s role in food safety

The existing food business prior to 1 March 2016 were regulated by local council and manufacturing business were regulated by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and checked by private agencies. 

Checking that a business complies with the law is a regulatory role. Private agencies and councils do this role on behalf of MPI. 

Local councils are automatically recognised to check template food control plans only.  

However, all other verifications are open to both private agencies and local councils, therefore, become a privatised service. 

For local council to continue to provide for the business operating in their region required investment in their staff and resources, implementing a quality management system and applying for recognition from MPI.

For further information visit aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

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