Charitable or community groups may still sizzle sausages or run cake and jam stalls at Kapiti Coast markets under the Foodstalls at Markets, Events and Other Sites policy adopted by Council`s Regulatory Management Committee.

“Concerns that traditional Kiwi cake and jam stalls and sausage sizzles for good causes will become a thing of the past are unfounded,” K?piti Coast District Council`s Regulatory Manager Ken Smith said.

“There`s never been an issue with the traditional Kiwi food stall for charity. Where problems have arisen under the Food Act rules is with small scale commercial operators who are unable or unwilling to comply with its strict requirements.

“After extensive consultation with our market communities, we`ve come up with a solution which maintains public food safety standards while providing small commercial operators who want to sell low risk foods at markets with a way to do that.”

Higher risk foods which cannot be sold include meats, chicken, pates and other readily perishable foods.

The policy adopted by the Committee will allow people to prepare foods for sale at markets in their home kitchens. The food must be of a low risk variety such as cakes and biscuits, jams and preserves, breads, honey, olive oil and vinegar and candies and confectionery. The kitchens must be inspected by Environmental Health inspectors. Operators must have undertaken an approved food hygiene course.

These Approved Operators will be able to sell products at participating markets within the Kapiti Coast District.

Mr Smith pointed out that the new policy was outside the current food legislation and had to be seen as an interim measure which may not continue if the current provisions of the new Food Bill are enacted.

The Committee resolved to prepare a submission on the Food Bill expressing support for the market sector and asking that any legislative requirements make provision for home preparation of food for sale at markets based on real risk and scale of production.
A working group of Mayor Jenny Rowan, Councillor Sandra Patton, Paekakariki Community Board chair Adrian Webster and Paraparaumu-Raumati Community Board member Roger Booth has been delegated to approve the submission.

The new policy is a triumph for common sense,” Mayor Jenny Rowan said. “The level of risk involved in making and selling such things as breads, cakes, jams and other similar products is very low.

“The policy we have approved provides a realistic way forward which I believe we should strongly promote to the select committee considering the Food Bill.”

Mr Smith emphasised that now the policy was approved, Environmental Health Officers would be developing simple, step-by-step sets of information and instructions for market managers and approved operators.

“We`ll be working with participating market managers and their stallholders to ensure everyone who wants to has the opportunity to take advantage of the new rules,” he said

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