Food Safety

Community and Public Health no longer provides food safety services within Canterbury, South Canterbury and the West Coast.

A woman preparing a meal with her son and daughter.The Ministry for Primary Industries now deals with queries on any of the following:

  • Food Complaints including foreign objects or undeclared allergens in food within our region;
  • Food Recalls;
  • Imported Food;
  • Food Safety Programmes; and
  • Food Labelling

Community and Public Health still deals with food poisoning and food-borne illness.

Contact an Environmental Health Officer at your local council if you want to report a ‘dirty’ food premises or unhygienic practices of food handlers.

Label changes will see medicines carry allergen warnings

Ministry of Health media release: 23rd September 2020

Medsafe is introducing labelling changes which will see medicines carry allergen warnings on the package.

The medicines regulator held a public consultation last year on plans to introduce the new labelling requirements for non-active substances – or excipients – which may cause a bad reaction.
Unlike foods, most medicines and related products are not required to list all the ingredients included in the medicine on the package.

That’s now changing, with the warnings to cover a range of excipients including gluten, eggs, soya beans, lactose and sesame seeds, tree nuts and pollen.

Medsafe’s Group Manager Chris James says it was fantastic to see good levels of support for the proposal. He says Medsafe is regularly looking at ways to ensure medicines are as safe as possible for all users.

“This change for new medicine applications will be taking effect from 1st March 2021, and from 2024 for existing medicines. Australia has already brought in these changes, under the Therapeutic Goods Orders. Because many of the medicines we get here are also marketed in Australia, these label warnings are already starting to appear on medicines,” says Mr James.

“It’s also important that these changes apply to all medicines, prescription and non-prescription alike – as allergies can occur to excipients in all medicines. These label changes are also designed to prompt a discussion between pharmacists and patients about potential allergens,” says Mr James.

“Ultimately we want to make medicines as safe as possible for everyone. These changes are an important part of that process.”



Download or order resources from the Community Health Information Centre.


For further information, contact:

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)
0800 693 721

Understanding the risks of raw milk

Raw milk has not been heat treated to kill harmful bacteria such as Campylobacter, Listeria and toxin-producing strains of E. coli.

There’s no way of telling by taste, sight or smell if raw milk will make you sick.

People most likely to get sick from drinking raw unpasteurised milk are young children, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems.

Page last updated: 30/09/2020

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