NEW Zealand officials are looking at ways to strengthen food safety regulation after two dairy contamination scares.
The Fonterra whey protein scare and Westland Milk’s lactoferrin powder contamination have prompted the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to look at interim measures to strengthen consumer assurances around New Zealand dairy products.
“Our dairy sector trades on New Zealand’s reputation, and that reputation is built on the strong assurances our regulatory system provides, and the quality of New Zealand’s products,” MPI acting director-general Scott Gallacher said.
Mr Gallacher says MPI will increase the regulatory presence at manufacturing premises, increase testing across dairy production, run tracing simulations to test the industry’s ability to track products, and increase reviews of risk management plans.
MPI also will increase its analysis of how well the dairy sector complies with regulations.
“Our testing regimes are thorough and robust when compared with the world’s leading dairy producing nations,” he said.
“Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement. I am confident these interim measures will help to reinforce consumer trust and confidence in our dairy products,” Mr Gallacher said.