New food rating system being rolled out
Are we checking the Food Safety rating certificates before eating out?
From Auckland Council:
Eating safe key to new food certification scheme
Auckland Council is rolling out a new-look verification and certification scheme called “Eatsafe” in response to Food Act 2014 standards that came into effect on 1 March 2016.
“Eatsafe is designed to protect and reassure the public by providing more transparency around food safety and suitability in Auckland,” says Bylaws and Regulatory Committee Chair, Councillor Calum Penrose.
The new Food Act 2014 promotes food safety by focussing on the processes of food production and not the premises where the food is made.
“Our industry-leading system recognises that every one of the more than 8,000 food businesses in Auckland is different, with differing levels of measurement required, depending on the type of food premises,” he says.
The new grading system assesses each business based on food safety, looking at cleaning, cooking, chilling of food and operator conduct, as well as food suitability issues such as food composition and labelling.
“With the increasing number and diversity of food outlets, and the rising popularity of eating out in Auckland, more people will be looking for the Eatsafe “A – Excellent” rating on the wall. Of course, under the new system, a “B” or “C” rating will also be a passing grade and quite appropriate for some types of outlets,” says Councillor Penrose.
Auckland Council’s current blue food safety certificates will be phased out over the three years and food operators serving alcohol have until June 2017 to switch.
The new Eatsafe grades will consist of:
A: Excellent with a score between 91-100%.
These businesses provide the highest level of confidence that they manage a food control plan and consistently produce safe and suitable food. Minor issues such as documentation may affect scores below 100%.
B: Good scoring between 61-90%.
These businesses provide a good level of confidence that they manage a food control plan and produce safe and suitable food. Areas of improvement that do not directly affect food safety will have been identified, particularly around documentation and procedures, which may be improved.
C: Satisfactory scoring between 50-60%.
These businesses provide a level of confidence that they produce safe food. Multiple areas of improvement that do not directly affect food safety will have been identified, particularly around their observed practices and documentation and procedures, which may be improved.
D – Issued to businesses where an issue that is likely to result in food being unsafe or unsuitable has been identified.
E – Issued to businesses where a critical issue relating to food safety has been identified.
NB: Businesses displaying D or E grades are only permitted to trade once Auckland Council is confident they are providing safe food. However they will still need to display their D or E grade until they are next verified.
EatSafe assesses food businesses based on compliance to food safety and suitability requirements. Food safety and suitability is assessed according to national verification criteria that looks at areas around: process control, environmental control, food safety behaviour, confidence in management and compliance history.