SIMON and Cathy Gamman always keep a close eye on the quality and safety of the food they serve at Crossroads. Photo James Sandbrook OB4680-01

OPOTIKI’S commercial food suppliers are now all operating under the regulations of the updated 2014 Food Act.

The new system was introduced in 2016, with businesses having until the end of February 2019, to comply.

Opotiki District Council planning and regulatory group manager Gerard McCormack said all Opotiki businesses had now transitioned as required.

Instead of a “one size fits all” approach, the new act focused more on the processes of food production rather than the premises.

Higher risk businesses are subject to tougher conditions and food control plans, while lower risk businesses follow set rules under the national programme.

In a report to the council, Mr McCormack says 49 Opotiki businesses are now operating under food control plans, with 16 under the national programme.

“I think we’ve got a very efficient model,” he said.

At Crossroads Bar and Restaurant it is business as usual, according to owner Cathy Gamman.

Since opening in 2011, she said they had voluntarily adopted the now-mandatory food plans.

“It’s all about checking temperatures and making sure you’re storing foods at the right temperatures, which you should be doing anyway,” she said.

To ensure businesses are meeting the new requirements, the council is looking to employ a food safety officer in the near future.