WELLINGTON, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) on Thursday announced food safety guidance which will cover up to 16,000 food businesses nationwide.
This means that all types of food businesses in New Zealand now have easy-to-follow guidance for keeping food safe, said an MPI statement.
The statement said different types of businesses have different guidance depending on the food safety risk of the food they handle.
In 2016, 60 percent of reported cases where food made people sick, came from commercial food operators, MPI Director Peter Thomson said in the statement.
"These guides help a wide range of food businesses from dairies to juice and confectionery manufacturers to keep their food safe for consumers," Thomson said.
The number of Kiwis getting sick from food-related bugs needs to come down, and groups like small children, the frail elderly, and people with compromised immune systems need protection, Thomson said.
"While food poisoning for a normal healthy person can be a short-lived upset stomach, the recent case of suspected botulism in the Waikato, or the campylobacter in the Havelock North drinking water, show how harmful bugs can have severe consequences," he said, referring to two recent food poisoning incidents in New Zealand.
A consistent set of rules targeting top food safety problems that are flexible and easy for businesses to apply are the best way to make sure that Kiwis "safely enjoy our great food culture," Thomson added.