The Food Act 2014 comes into force on 1st March 2016 with a new approach to managing food safety. Everyone working in the food industry has a responsibility to ensure that the food we buy is safe and suitable for eating.
The Act promotes food safety by focussing on the process in which food is produced and not the premises it is produced in. A key feature of the new Act is a sliding scale where businesses of higher risk, from a food safety stand point, will operate under stricter food safety requirements and checks than lower-risk food businesses. The Act therefore brings in two new food safety measures; Food Control Plans (FCPs) for higher-risk activities and National Programmes for lower-risk activities.
This means for example that a corner dairy owner who reheats meat pies won’t be treated in the same way as the meat pie manufacturer. Higher-risk food activities like pie manufacturing will need a Food Control Plan, and lower-risk activities, such as selling a manufactured pie can operate under a National Programme, of which there are three levels.
So if you’re in the food industry, where do you fit? Thankfully MPI have made answering this question really easy by creating a ‘Where Do I Fit’ tool. This online tool will guide you through the process of identifying which rules you need to follow under the Food Act 2014.