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Assured Food Safety Ltd - providing practical food safety solutions since 2002

AFS Consultancy Services

Food Safety Programmes (FSP), customised Food Control Plans (FCP) and Risk Management Programmes (RMP)

Regulated Control Schemes (RCS) for Transport

Listeria Management Programmes for Ready to Eat Foods

Key Customer Quality Assurance Requirements eg. WQA

Internal Auditing of FCPs and RMPs

Food Labelling and Composition - compliance with ANZ Food Standards Code

Food and Environmental Testing Advice

Microbiology Laboratory Technical Assessments

New Product Development (NPD)

Food Safety Programmes, Food Control Plans & Risk Management Programmes

To meet regulatory requirements you may need to operate your food business with a:

  • Custom Food Control Plan (FCP)
  • National Programme (Level 1, 2 or 3)
  • Risk Management Programme (RMP) – under the Animal Products Act 1999
  • Wine Standards Management Plan (WSMP) - under the Wine Act 2003

Getting started – services to help you comply

  • Food Control Plan (FCP), National Programme (NP) and Risk Management Programme design
  • Written programme development (policies, procedures, forms)
  • Coaching on FCP/NP/RMP implementation
  • Internal audit
  • Help to select an external regulatory auditor/verifier
  • Advice on how to address any external audit findings
  • Facilitating the regulatory approval of your programme

Support with ongoing compliance

We can provide an ongoing internal audit/review service. This helps to ensure your FCP/NP/RMP remains effective, appropriate for your business and compliant with regulatory requirements.

When your business grows or changes, your FCP/NP/RMP must grow and change too. Again we're here to help – whether you're moving to new premises, introducing new products or processes, or selling to new markets, including export.

FCP/NP/RMP management systems successfully developed in many sectors:

Manufacturing

  • Dairy – ice cream, cheese, yoghurt, gelato
  • Frozen meals
  • Biscuits, slices and cakes
  • Sauces, soups, chutneys/pickles
  • Cook-Chill food
  • Tofu
  • Vegetarian dips and spreads
  • Salads
  • Pies and other pastry products
  • Confectionery
  • Beverage manufacturing – alcoholic and non-alcoholic , including brewing
  • Mayonnaise and dressings

 

Meat processing

  • Cured meats
  • Ready to Eat (RTE) meats
  • Smallgoods
  • Dried meat (biltong, droewors, European style dried meats)
  • Primal cuts

 

Processing

  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Olive and avocado oil processing
  • Bottled drinking water processing
  • Seafood processing and retail
  • Beverage powder blending and packing

 

Packing, storage & transportation

  • Egg production and packing
  • Produce storage and wholesale
  • Frozen and chilled storage and transportation
  • Food importation, storage and distribution

 

Food preparation for vulnerable consumers (hospitals)

 

Food wholesalers

 

Retail supermarkets

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Regulated Control Scheme (RCS) for Transport

If you're transporting animal products for export (eg meat, honey, egg or dairy products) you may need or want an official assurance (export certificate) from the New Zealand Government.

We can advise and help you to implement a Regulated Control Scheme (RCS), as an alternative to a Risk Management Programme (RMP).

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) provides useful background about this option. See –

MPI – Operating under the Transport Regulated Control Scheme (RCS)

 

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Listeria Management Programmes for Ready to Eat Foods

If you're a manufacturer of Ready to Eat (RTE) foods, you'll be aware of the need to control and minimise risk associated with Listeria.

We have hands-on experience in developing comprehensive Listeria management programmes based on the latest MPI guidelines.

Examples of programmes available:

  • Specific good operating practices
  • Microbiological testing
  • Actions to take if listeria is detected in the food product or processing area

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) provides useful information about Listeria, including fact sheets, e-learning training module, video on sampling for Listeria.   

MPI – Listeria Resources

 

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Key Customer Quality Assurance Requirements

Increasingly major food retailers and food service operators are requiring their suppliers to implement specific standards.

Examples

  • Woolworths Vendor QA Programme (WQA)
  • New Zealand Good Agricultural Practices (NZGAP)
  • Spotless Services
  • Airline Supplier Criteria

These standards often include quality parameters (not just food safety ones).

So you need to put additional systems and procedures in place to demonstrate compliance with your key customer's specifications.

We can help you to build on your existing food safety management systems, to incorporate your key customer standards into your everyday operation.

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Internal Auditing of Food Control Plans/Risk Management Programmes

Once you have a functioning, approved FCP or RMP in place, you must keep it up to date and effective. You must also include any changes to regulatory or key customer requirements in a timely manner.

Our internal auditing service can keep you on track.

Internal auditing is typically provided as an annual service, unless you have different requirements for internal audit frequency eg six monthly.

We assess your FCP/RMP implementation against what you plan to do (your company standards), and against the current regulatory and/or customer standards.

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Food Labelling and Composition - compliance with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code

If you're a food importer or brand owner your product labelling may have been designed for another market, eg USA, Europe, Asia. So it may not meet New Zealand and Australian requirements.

We'll review your packaged food products labels for compliance with local composition and labelling equirements. Where necessary we can refer you to a product category specialist for additional guidance eg
for products such as infant formula, supplemented foods, dietary supplements.

When should you check labelling?

  • Before you import any food products from overseas
  • Before you sign off on a final packaging or over-label proof
  • When launching a new product
  • When the formulation of a product changes

How long does a label review take?

A standard label review and written report usually takes around 1 hour as long as you have accurate nutrition panel information and ingredient listings.

The review takes longer when:

  • the label includes health claims requiring validation
  • the relevant information is not immediately available, eg when we need to obtain or check specifications of ingredients
  • nutritional information needs recalculating.

To understand what is required on your food product labels, the Ministry for Primary Industries' guide is a good starting point –

MPI – A Guide to Retail Food Labelling

MPI - A Guide to Labelling Food Sold to Caterers Food Service Businesses

MPI - A Guide to Labelling Food Supplied to a Food Manufacturer or Processor

 

For direct links to the legislative website covering New Zealand and Australian labelling requirements, see –

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)

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Food and Environmental Testing Advice

Verification testing is an important part of any food safety management programme. But most businesses have a limited budget for testing. You also need to be sure you're testing for the right things in the right products.

Questions to ask yourself

  • Should we be doing microbiological testing on our food products?
  • What about verifying that our cleaning programme is effective?
  • Are pathogens like Listeria lurking in our factory, and how should we go about monitoring this?
  • Are there any regulatory/customer standards or guidelines that we need to meet?
  • What should we test for?
  • How many samples should we take?
  • What limits are acceptable?
  • How do we conduct shelf life testing?
  • Do we need to conduct any chemical testing, e.g. to confirm that we are using preservatives at the correct levels?
  • What do we do if the results indicate our food may not be safe, or meet our customers' standards?

We can help you answer these questions, and offer sound advice on a verification testing programme that reflects the characteristics of your products and your manufacturing processes.

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Microbiology Laboratory Technical Assessments (to meet the technical aspects of ISO 17025 and regulatory requirements)

If you operate a microbiology testing laboratory (either for in-house testing of your food products, or testing food and environmental samples for others), attention to detail is critical. Many factors can affect the integrity of microbiological testing results.

A robust independent assessment of the technical aspects of your laboratory methods and quality assurance practices, is a valuable contribution to your internal auditing activities.

Shane Hopgood, our Managing Director, has been an IANZ Technical Expert in the field of microbiology testing for more than 25 years. He can help you ensure that you are operating to best practice standards.

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New Product Development (NPD)

Developing new food and beverage products is a complex process - requiring sound knowledge of ingredients and packaging, food processing techniques, labelling and shelf life requirements, food safety and other legislation (such as Weights and Measures, Fair Trading etc) and consumer  expectations.

There are a number of excellent references available, with two recommended texts being authored by New Zealand experts, Professors Mary and Richard Earle (Massey University).  These are available free to download from the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology website (www.nzifst.org.nz), and below (just click on the links)

The Product Developer's Guide

Food Product Development

 

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From our customers

"Assured Food Safety is our one stop shop for all the Food Control Plan requirements.

Our relationship is ten years strong and I would recommend Shane and his team to anyone requiring assistance with their FCP.

From design to implementation to ongoing support these guys get it done."

Konrad West
Freshpork NZ Ltd

www.freshpork.co.nz

"Assured Food Safety's customer service and their knowledge of regulatory requirements have been a huge help for Karma Drinks and we've grown and diversified. Their Foodstuffs approved supplier service has been a great way to give us confidence that our products and processes are compliant in what is an important sales channel for Karma Drinks."

Adam Turner
Karma Drinks

www.karmadrinks.co.nz

"DM Dunningham Ltd have been dealing with Assured Food Safety Ltd for approx. 10 yrs.

We have used them in a consultancy capacity for various projects.

Shane and his team are extremely capable and very professional to work with. Their knowledge across the Food Industry is exceptional."

Stuart Badland
D.M Dunningham Ltd

www.dunninghams.co.nz

"KĊkako Organic Coffee has been using Assured Food Safety for a number of years now and could not be more satisfied with their service. From assistance with NP3 audits to documentation, we can guarantee that Shane and the team are there to support us every step of the way"

Craig Milliner, Operations Manager,
Kokako

www.kokako.co.nz

"We've been working with Assured Food Safety since we started Living Goodness in May 2015 and couldn't recommend them highly enough.

Back then we were newbies to the food industry and we contacted a number of organisations trying to work out what was required to ensure we met food safety regulations. We struggled to get any clarity or insight until we spoke to Shane at Assured Food Safety. One of the first things we noticed was his customer service, rather than bamboozle us with regulations he invited us in for a meeting to discuss face to face the options available to us.

It was then that our 6 year (ongoing) journey with Assured Food Safety began. They helped us establish a comprehensive Food Control Plan which was approved and continues to be audited by MPI. They provide ongoing technical support to our business via annual audits ensuring we're keeping the right records & checking our processes & procedures. And they're always at the end of an email or phone should we ever have questions or issues, which we do a lot!

Their approach is always knowledgeable, fast, clear and supportive. As business owners who have to wear many hats its fantastic to feel confident working with Assured Food Safety that we are making & selling safe compliant food.

Should you have any further questions the please don't hesitate to contact us."

Fiona Dykes, Living Goodness

www.livinggoodness.co.nz

"Five years ago our company, The Waiheke Olive Oil Company Ltd, employed Assured Food Safety Ltd to develop a Food Safety Plan for our olive processing and bottling facilities. Since then we have continued to work with Shane to implement any minor modifications needed as the business has evolved. As with the initial development of the plan, these have been carried out very efficiently and in a timely manner.

At all times we have found Shane to be very professional in his approach and to be easy to work with. His attention to detail, overall expertise and especially his detailed knowledge of regulatory requirements, have ensured successful outcomes".

Margaret Edwards, Director, The Waiheke Olive Oil Company Ltd

www.matiatiagrove.co.nz

"We have been dealing with Assured Food Safety Ltd since 2007, and have found Shane to be extremely practical, technical and has up to date knowledge of the industry regulations and requirements. He has been able to work with us from setting up our own HACCP programme to resolving problems, step by step with clear instructions in a calm way. As the food regulations are always evolving, Shane's professionalism and approach has given us confidence and assurance in our business having him as our consultant. Shane is well known and respected within the industry, we have already recommended Assured Food Safety to several customers, so if you are reading this we highly recommend you give Assured Food Safety a call".

Paul Betschart and Roberta Booth, Betscharts Ltd

www.betscharts.co.nz

"We have used Shane's company, Assured Food Safety Ltd, in a number of projects, including a significant change to our Food Safety Plan. Shane is very efficient and pragmatic with his advice and plans. The project was completed on time and budget with very favourable results. I would
highly recommend Shane".

Jim Kennedy, Managing Director, Kauri Kitchen Ltd

www.kaurikitchen.co.nz

"Our company has engaged Assured Food Safety over the last 5 years to consult on our food safety requirements. Specifically I have worked closely with Shane over this time as he is a member of our HACCP team. His experience and technical knowledge has been integral in helping our company attain the Woolworths Quality Assurance (WQA) standard.

While Shane is very detail orientated when ensuring compliance to regulatory standards he retains a sense of humour and practical approach to finding solutions to issues. I consider Assured Food Safety a key supplier to our business and would strongly recommend their services to companies that require a food safety specialist to achieve higher levels of compliance within their business."

Stefan Craddock, General Manager

Craddock Farms Ltd

"I am very grateful to you and your team in assisting my business since day one and would not be where we are without your help. You are the most professional, efficient and qualified person for your role. I am happy to give you full recommendation to anyone in this industry. Shane is amazing to deal with and is there to resolve issues or give advice in the most proficient and professional manner".

Leanne Banno, Managing Director, Leanne's Kitchen

www.happycooking.co.nz

"We run a growing fresh fruit delivery business, supplying fruit daily to corporate clients. Several of our customers required that we put in place a Food Safety Program, and we could definitely see some value in doing so for our business in general.

Putting this in place was quite a daunting prospect. Shane from Assured Food Safety visited us and gave us a very clear picture of what was required, the time frame and the cost.

Shane very quickly understood our business and wrote a Food Safety program that was achievable for us and a useful tool for training our staff. With his guidance we implemented it. Shane is an excellent communicator with an in-depth knowledge of the food safety requirements. I'm pleased to say that we have passed our external audit and now have a certified FSP. Without Shane's knowledge, guidance and patience we would still be a long way off certification".

Alan McMeiken, Director, Fruit Guys NZ Ltd

www.fruitguys.co.nz

"Shane helped us to set up NZGAP programme to meet the requirement of Foodstuffs standard when we set up our business in 2008. He gave us detailed guidelines on Food Safety standards, and helped us set up documentation and procedures to meet all the necessary requirements.

His expertise and thorough documentations really saved us a lot of time in getting the business set up on the right track. Our business grows over the years, and recently he has assisted us in passing the Broker Assessment required by Foodstuffs. We really enjoy Shane's services and would recommend him to any business that needs help needs the expertise!"

Michelle Pan, Director, Healthy 'n Fresh Ltd

www.healthyfresh.co.nz