New food act will see unlicensed online sellers fined

Source: NZ Stuff
Date: 23 Junes 2015
Author: Taryn Utiger

Complaints to the New Plymouth District Council about people selling homemade hangi are rising.

Selling homemade hangi without a licence could soon land people with a $450 fine.

The online sale of hangi and other food items has caused an influx of complaints to the New Plymouth District Council recently.

The council’s manager of regulatory services Mary-Anne Priest said phone calls about Facebook pages being used to sell homemade food, and in particular hangi, were growing.

“The staff here have said they’ve handled more complaints about food recently than ever before. People are seeing food for sale on websites and ringing the council to see if it’s ok,” Priest said.

“When we contact the sellers a lot of them seem a little bit unaware that they are required to be licensed. Once we have spoken to them a lot of them have stopped selling.”

She said one-off sales for fundraising events were exempt and the council was not concerned about those.

“But we will go and investigate if people are selling for personal gain.”

Priest said if the online sale of food from unlicensed sellers and unregistered kitchens continued after the Food Act 2014 came into effect in March, then sellers could be hit with a $450 fine for operating without a licence.

She said there would be significant changes happening under the new act and the regulations were due to be released by central government in the next two weeks.

Council would be communicating these changes with food businesses, she said.

Priest said if anyone had doubts about whether they were allowed to sell any food items they could contact the council for advice and may be asked to register as a licensed business.

The annual fee for this ranges from $525 to $945 a year, with food handlers expected to be certified.

Priest said most market stall holders were already registered with the council at a cost of $81 a year, and the council also monitored markets.

Roadside stalls, where people sold homegrown produce, were exempt from the act, Priest said.

 – Stuff

My Conclusion:
I could not be even more enraged. In USA the woman who have their goats taken away and she raising her baby child on goat milk because she could not breast feed her child. But in New Zealand it’s now illegal sell unlicensed Hangi and even illegal to sell for you personal gains. The Food Bill 160-2 is already in place in New Zealand.

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