New Food Safety Laws, Daycare Centres Need To Pay Thousands To Be Verified

By Nethani Palmani | Apr 03, 2017 04:06 PM EDT

The kitchen of Mountain View Vineyard Church in Stratford is required to be registered under new food safety laws. Pastor John Sheed, however, said it had already been checked the day Gr8 Kidz daycare moved in.

Under the Food Act 2014 and Food Regulations 2015, early childhood education (ECE) centers that serve food prepared by staff until March 31 to register with their local council or the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). Then, they have up to a year to have their sites checked by qualified council staff or a third-party verifier who will ensure the kitchen and food handling practices are safe and meet the required standards, according to NZHerald.

However, most ECE centers are already checked by the Ministry of Health before they were allowed to operate and there is now query for another layer of regulation. The new food safety laws would also mean the ECE centers would have to pay thousands of dollars to be allowed to cook and serve food on their premises.

Gr8 Kidz daycare is run by the Mountain View Vineyard Church in Stratford, Taranaki. Pastor John Sheed who thinks the new food safety laws was unnecessary would have to pay a $300 bill to the Stratford District Council to register, as well as to bring a verifier into the region as there is no-one in Taranaki who has the qualifications to do the checks, according to Taranaki Daily News.

The new food safety laws, however, made an exemption for daycare centres fully funded by the Government that only serve food that has had minimal handling like fruit or crackers, or are cooking food for a fundraiser less than 20 times a year. Only four of Kindergarten Taranaki's 24 centres around the region met the criteria, which means they needed to be registered under the new food safety laws.

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