Assured Food Safety Ltd - providing practical food safety solutions since 2002
AFS Consultancy Services
To meet regulatory requirements you may need to operate your food business with a:
Getting started – services to help you comply
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:
Packing, storage & transportation
Food preparation for vulnerable consumers (hospitals)
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 –
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:
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) provides useful information about Listeria, including fact sheets, e-learning training module, video on sampling for Listeria.
Increasingly major food retailers and food service operators are requiring their suppliers to implement specific standards.
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.
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.
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
When should you check labelling?
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:
To understand what is required on your food product labels, the Ministry for Primary Industries' guide is a good starting point –
For direct links to the legislative website covering New Zealand and Australian labelling requirements, see –
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
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.
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.
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)