Monitoring programmes under the Food Act 1981
The programmes under the Food Act test residues and contaminants in imported food and other selected foods that may present a risk.
The Food Act 1981 regulates domestic food produced or sold in New Zealand. Monitoring under the Act is generally empowered by Section 9, where 'contaminated' is taken to mean a contaminant or substance whose levels exceed thresholds in published standards. The Act also allows standards to be issued in relation to the composition of food, including the:
- maximum amounts of chemical contaminants or residues that may be present
- maximum or minimum amounts of additives or other substances that must or may be present
- microbiological status.
Food safety monitoring under the Food Act
There are 2 main monitoring programmes under the Food Act:
- Food Residues Surveillance Programme (FRSP)
- Imported Food Monitoring Programme
You can find out more about how each programme works on the relevant pages in the left-hand menu.
New Zealand food Standards
Several New Zealand Food Standards are made under the Food Act. The 4 listed here relate to chemical specifications for food production.
Maximum Residue Limits of agricultural compounds
The Maximum Residue Limits of Agricultural Compounds Food Standards 2007 give the maximum residue limits (MRLs) at which residues of an agricultural compound may be present in specified types of food. The MRLs for a range of agricultural compounds are listed in the Standard. If an agricultural compound and food combination is not specifically listed, then a default maximum of up to 0.1mg/kg applies. All food produced for sale in New Zealand must comply with this Standard.
Imported Milk and Milk Products
The Food (Imported Milk and Milk Products) Standard 2009 spells out how milk and milk products manufactured for sale must be processed. This includes milk and milk products used as ingredients in other food. Additional requirements are set under the Animal Products Act 1999.
The Food (Prescribed Foods) Standard 2007 prohibits any food listed in the Standard from being imported, manufactured, prepared or sold if any of the conditions listed are not met.
Tutin in Honey
The Food (Tutin in Honey) Standard 2010 sets a maximum level of tutin in honey for sale for human consumption and for export. You can find out how this is applied in the Honey & bee products section of the website.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand
Further standards are developed under the Food Act in cooperation with Australia. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) carries out this work, which is based on the rigorous scientific assessment of risk to public health and safety.
You can find the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) on the FSANZ website under Food standards.
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