On the Open Agenda of today’s Executive Council Meeting, Members considered a range of Regulations made under section 7 of the Food Safety Ordinance, 2016. The Regulations discussed and approved were:
- Food Safety (General Food) Regulations, 2017
- Food Safety (Procedure & Fees) Regulations, 2017
- Food Safety (Products of Animal Origin) Regulations, 2017
These Regulations have been widely discussed in the community and bring into effect the provisions of the Ordinance in respect of food safety. In general, food business operators carrying out primary production and any associated operations, and food business operators carrying out any stage of production, processing, distribution or sale of food must comply with the provisions set out in the Regulations. A food business operator must put in place, implement and maintain a permanent procedure or procedures based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles and which must be commensurate with and reflect the nature, size and food safety risk of the business.
The HACCP principles are as follows:
- identifying any hazards that must be prevented, eliminated or reduced to acceptable levels
- identifying the critical control points at the step or steps at which control is essential to prevent or eliminate a hazard or reduce it to acceptable levels
- establishing critical limits at critical control point which separate acceptability from unacceptability for the prevention, elimination or reduction of identified hazards
- establishing and implementing effective monitoring procedures at critical control points
- establishing corrective actions when monitoring indicates that a critical control point is not under control
- establishing procedures which shall be carried out regularly to verify that the measures outlined in items (a) to (e) are working effectively
- establishing documents and records commensurate with the nature and size of the food business to demonstrate the effective application of the measures outlined in paragraphs (a) to (f)
The Regulations also make provision for a range of other activities, including the inspection of premises and products, and establish the fees for a range of activities.
In approving the Regulations, Council thanked Georgina Young, Senior Environmental Health Officer, the staff in Public Health and the Public Health Committee and Chairperson. It was also noted that there would be a proportionate approach to enforcing the Regulations, giving businesses up to three months to ensure compliance after coming into force on 1 April 2017.
Council then considered the draft 10 Year Plan for St Helena. It was noted that the plan had been developed through a series of public consultation events and that it reflected the views of the people of St Helena. The plan will now be publicised widely across the Island and will form the basis for future strategic planning.
Council were informed that Mike Olsson has resigned from Legislative Council with immediate effect. The Governor and Members of the Council expressed their gratitude to Councillor Olsson for his work as a Councillor, recognising his significant contribution on a number of key policy initiatives.
The meeting ended at 11am.
21 February 2017