The Importance of Food Safety | Choosing a Registered Food Business
The internet is amazing. In this day and age, anyone can start up a business and have a really good shot at making it big! A food business is a little different though, anyone who handles food needs a licence to do so. It helps to protect both parties and ensures they’re safe to handle and prepare food.
Platters and grazing tables are no exception. There are constantly new businesses popping up on Instagram all over New Zealand. I love that people have found something they are passionate about. But the world of food and catering is about so much more than just passion. It’s about food safety too.
I know it may sound boring, but ensuring your caterer is licensed will mean they are equipped to prepare safe food in a safe environment. I myself have a Food Control Plan registered with the Tauranga City Council and have turned a domestic kitchen into one equipped and registered for preparing food. I can’t cook, I can simple handle and prepare. Every food business will require something a little different, so don’t be afraid to ask your caterer to see their documentation.
Google may seem like a great place to start looking for caterers, but my favourite place to find food businesses is here on the MPI Public Register. This will show you businesses that have current or expired food licences. You can narrow it down by region or keyword and have a good old nosey. You’ll be surprised what you find!
You may find that these businesses charge a little more than those that are unregistered. This is due to the fact that they are spending more time and money to ensure safe food practises are met. My Food Control Plan means that I must fill out daily records and checks that can then be checked at any time. Strict hand-washing, sanitising, temperature control and contamination rules apply.
These are all things that a business with a food licence does happily, because we understand the importance of creating safe food for our customers. Those without a licence put their customers at risk. Simply using someone else’s commercial kitchen, also isn’t enough. Each business needs to be registered.
Cafes, restaurants, food trucks and market stalls can display their certificates so everyone knows that they are a safe and registered business. It’s a little different for caterers. I think everyone just assumes that food licences and standards are being met, but unfortunately that isn’t always true.
Imagine choosing an unlicensed caterer for your wedding without knowing and your guests got sick? Horrible to think about I know, but these are the sort of situations you could be faced with if you choose the wrong caterer.
In short, be smart when choosing a caterer. Always look for their certification. Do a little research, don’t be afraid to ask questions and put yourself and your guests first.
Did you know about food licences and the world of underground catering in NZ?