Companies that make non-shelf stable items and food importers, and which haven't registered under the new Food Act, have just two weeks to do so before possibly facing fines for non-compliance, according to the NZ Food and Grocery Council. This includes companies that make or process:
- nuts and seeds, including businesses that roast coffee beans, roast, salt or coat nuts or seeds, or make products like nut bars or trail mix
- food for vulnerable people, for example packaged food for elderly people or baby food
- sauces, spreads, dips, soups, broths, gravies or dressings that need to be kept cold (non-shelf stable)
- ready-to-eat salads
Companies that import food must be a registered food importer under the Food Act or have identified a registered food importer to do it for them. The deadline for registrations is 30 June.
Companies seeking further information can contact their local council or go to the Food Safety section of the Ministry for Primary Industries' web page, which contains registration details as well as links to the food safety information needed to follow the new rules. It also contains an easy-to-follow Where Do I fit tool.
FGC chief executive Katherine Rich said companies not registered before that date could face fines of up to $450.
"It can take a while to process applications, especially if there are a lot of people in the queue, so we're urging companies who have not registered to do so as soon as possible," said Rich.