Dunedin City Council senior environmental health officer
Wayne Boss and his team are putting the heat on Dunedin
food outlets. Photo from ODT files.
A push to help Dunedin food providers clean up their
businesses has in large part contributed to a marked reduction
in D grades already this year, the Dunedin City Council says.
The council's environmental health team has been encouraging
food business operators to voluntarily put food control plans
in place, including offering free coaching sessions.
The plans require premises to keep a detailed daily record of
cleaning, maintenance, food safety and training.
The push has resulted in the council being the territorial
authority with the second-highest uptake of the plans in the
country (62% of the eligible food businesses). Only one of
Dunedin's 727 food premises has been issued a ''D'' grade so
far this year, compared with eight for the whole of last
Council senior environmental health officer Wayne Boss said
the council had been pushing uptake of the plans for about
three years and it seemed to be working.
The figures had dropped from 23 D grades in 2009. In the same
period, the percentage of Dunedin food premises graded A had
risen from 42% to 61%.
Although his team had gone down by one person in the past
year, the number of inspections had remained at the same
level, meaning there must be a general improvement in health
and safety practices among operators.
Having worked one-on-one with many of the 341 food premises
that had already opted to take on a food control plan had
probably assisted with that, he said.
The effort by the operators and the council also put Dunedin
well ahead of the eight-ball, with the plans expected to
become compulsory in food reforms likely to take effect by
Mr Boss said the council welcomed recent news that the Food
Bill was expected to be in place earlier than expected.
It was good news, not only because Dunedin was so prepared,
but because New Zealand's food safety regulations had not
been reformed since the 1980s.
The council is second in voluntary uptake of the plans only
to the Kawerau District Council, which has 67% uptake but
also significantly fewer food premises.
The Queenstown-Lakes District Council is the fifth-top
council to have food control plans in place, with 36% of
premises having one.
A D grade is issued to premises having a serious issue with
conduct or practices, cleaning, structure and maintenance
and/or staff training.
Premises can be closed or remain open. Premises graded D are
revisited within 72 hours, and regularly after that until
they return to an acceptable standard.
The numbers (as at last week)
727: Food premises in Dunedin
550: Food premises that will potentially require a
food control plan
341: Food premises that have voluntarily taken up a
food control plan
So far in 2013:
456: A grades (62%)
169: B grades (23%)
30: C grades (4%)
1: D grade (0.13%)
Top five councils with food control plans
Kawerau district (67%)
Whangarei district (46%)
Queenstown-Lakes district (36%)