To enable the Regulatory Committee to complete the review of the Bylaw and decide whether to propose a new bylaw, staff have prepared a findings and options report.
Key findings are that the risk of foodborne illness from the sale of food still exists and a bylaw for the display of food grades can raise public awareness and incentivise businesses.
Staff recommend that option one (improve Bylaw) to require most food businesses to display a food grade is the most favourable option because:
The current Bylaw and food grading scheme have support from the public, operators, health experts and environmental health officers as they can incentivise better food safety practices,
Most food businesses that serve the public are currently required to display a food grade (6,711 or 70 per cent) even if they have a lower grade,
It raises public awareness of food safety standards and enables them to make an informed decision about where to purchase food,
It has less compliance costs for business and council than option two and avoids the risk of inconsistency with the Food Act 2014,
It can provide greater incentive for food businesses to improve food safety standards than options three and four, which have no requirement to display a food grade
It fills a regulatory gap in the absence of a national food grading scheme. Option two (extend Bylaw) would require 81 per cent of all food businesses that serve food to the public to display a food grade.
The key trade-off is it would increase compliance costs for food businesses not registered and verified by council and may be inconsistent with the Food Act. Further engagement with food businesses and the Ministry for Primary Industries would be required before adopting this option. Staff recommend the committee makes the necessary determinations to commence the statutory process to make a new bylaw for option one (improve Bylaw).