The Food Act 2014 places responsibility on food businesses to ensure that the food they sell is safe and suitable to eat. Food should be prepared and handled in a way to prevent people becoming ill and that food is in the right condition for its intended use.
The Act has introduced new measures that promote food safety by focusing on the processes or food production, not the premises where food is made.
Food businesses are categorised in different ways, depending on the level of risk:
- Where a business has higher-risk activities food control plans (FCPs) must be prepared
- For businesses with lower risk activities national programmes apply
Council has a responsibility to monitor and inspect businesses that prepare and sell food to the public. The work is done by the Environmental Health Unit of the Timaru District Council on Waimate District Council's behalf.
Since 2014 the Food Act has been amended and the rules changed. Relevant businesses are now transitioning and must be registered with Waimate District Council.
Ensuring public health is an important role for Council and responsibilities include:
- Inspecting food premises
- Investigating infectious diseases, health hazards and, if necessary, monitoring and inspecting premises under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012
- Enforcing statutory requirements
- Providing information and advice regarding environmental health issues
- Investigate incidents of food poisoning
Temporary sale of food
Since the Food Act 2014 came into effect, the rules for selling food at events, festivals, fundraisers and at other temporary premises have changed.
For example, food being sold by a person or group for fundraising purposes must be sourced from registered food premises.
Allowances have been made for people to trade in food once per calendar year who would not normally trade in food. Some examples are (but not limited to):
- A family with a food stall at an annual cultural festival
- Food provided at a home garage sale
Mobile food premises
A mobile shop means a vehicle (whether self-propelled or not) from which:
- goods are offered or exposed for sale, or
- goods may be ordered, or
- services are offered for sale
It does not include any vehicle:
- from which food is sold for consumption in or at the vehicle, or
- used for the purpose of transporting and delivering (ordered) goods
Operating a mobile food premise
It is recommended that you contact Council before you start operating a mobile food premise. Council can provide information on legislative requirements and any other information about relevant bylaws and other rules.
To operate a mobile food premise a licence must be obtained.
Conditions of a mobile food premise licence
- Licence must be displayed for inspection at any time while trading.
- The licensee or operator shall, when requested by any Police Officer or authorised officer of the Council, alter his position or move from place to place on any road or public place as directed.
- No mobile shop shall stop for the purpose of business within 200 metres of any shop then lawfully open for sale of similar goods.
- No mobile shop is permitted to be operated for business on any public street or road:
- Between the period half an hour after sunset on one day and 8.30am the following morning; or
- Any other time when there is not sufficient daylight to render clearly visible a person or vehicle at a distance of 100 metres.
- No mobile shop shall stand or operate within 50 metres of any intersection, or curve in the roadway where visibility could be reduced or restricted.
- Council reserves the right to prohibit traders from carrying on business in any street or part thereof or the type of merchandise offered for sale.
- Musical chimes or other audible devices may be operated. No such chimes or audible devices shall be operated within 300 metres of any place of worship while a service is in progress or any hospital or similar institution licensed under the Health Act 1956.
- The licensee or operator shall remove any litter from the surrounding area of the mobile shop which has been generated by the activities of its operation.
- The licensee is to supply a copy of written approval from a registered craftsman gasfitter, relating to an annual inspection of all LPG equipment.
- The licensee or operator shall remove any wastewater that has been generated by their operation of the mobile shop. Wastewater is not to be discharged to any ground or public drain and is to be disposed of at an identified waste dump site, or as approved by an authorised Environmental Health Officer.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is responsible for the legislation and have provided relevant guidance and information on their website (see image above right).