Auckland Council is rolling out a new-look verification and certification scheme called “Eatsafe” in response to Food Act 2014 standards that came into effect on 1 March 2016. “Eatsafe is designed to protect and reassure the public by providing more transparency around food safety and suitability in Auckland,” says Bylaws and Regulatory Committee Chair, Councillor Calum Penrose. The new Food Act 2014 promotes food safety by focusing on the processes of food production and not the premises where the food is made. “Our industry-leading system recognizes that every one of the more than 8,000 food businesses in Auckland is different, with differing levels of measurement required, depending on the type of food premises,” he says. The new grading system assesses each business based on food safety, looking at cleaning, cooking, chilling of food and operator conduct, as well as food suitability issues such as food composition and labelling. “With the increasing number and diversity of food outlets, and the rising popularity of eating out in Auckland, more people will be looking for the Eatsafe “A – Excellent” rating on the wall. Of course, under the new system, a “B” or “C” rating will also be a passing grade and quite appropriate for some types of outlets,” says Councillor Penrose. Auckland Council’s current blue food safety certificates will be phased out over the three years and food operators serving alcohol have until June 2017 to switch.