Updated: Feb 4, 2019
It’s always weird when you have to write about yourself but anyway…here goes!
I’ve been in education most of my life, in one form or other. But as an adult I’ve been a Lecturer for over 25 years and finally ventured into the food retail business 8 years ago. I decided it was time to get out of the classroom and walk the walk. Boy it’s hard out there. I built up my food business from nothing to delivering to Supermarkets from the top of North Island down to the bottom of the South Island in New Zealand. It was a struggle but I did it. I have great respect for anyone who chooses to go into the food business and make that their main source of income. It really isn’t easy.
My journey then took me to food safety, you see no matter how hard it was to create a business from scratch, developing your ‘Brand” doing marketing, reach new clients, create a good quality product, do the accounts and generally keep the business afloat, you then have to deal with food safety as well. For some it’s a step too far and I must admit it nearly broke me. No matter how hard you try you can’t seem to get a straight answer or get the right information or get anyone to help you. It’s hard to know where to go and what to do.
While I was trying to get my food safety procedures in place, I ended up having to go back to school and basically learn it…old habits 😊. I really would have sold an organ for someone else to just come along and do it for me! But the more I became aware of food safety the more I realised that I really wanted to focus on that and do it for other people who are in the same position as me. It really shouldn’t be that hard! At times I felt as though it was like a secret service thing because it was so hard getting information, but in reality, nobody…nobody wanted to be accountable for what they said about food safety. I think the reason for this is most of the powers that be for food safety didn’t really know what was going on themselves. It was a shock to me to find conflicting information within the same organisation. Then on top of that you have the cost of the audit and please don’t get me started on the Auditors. That was also a huge factor for me going into the food safety business. I thought the way auditors treated people was absolutely appalling. My first auditor grilled me for 6 hours and made me cry. I was good for nothing at the end of her little power trip. I can honestly say that was the hardest exam I have ever sat.
So, to that end FoodPlanNZ was formed in March 2018 and here we are. I’m a one-woman band and love what I do. I give you 100% of my time to make sure I get your company food safety ready. I use MPI templates but make sure it fits in with your business. I create all the records and procedures you need and also incorporate some training guides. I will show you how to incorporate good operating practices. I show you who does what and when they should do it i.e. Fred the front counter server has to check the fridge/chiller twice a day and update his records. I make sure everything is in place for you to be food compliant and registered under the new Food Act 2014.
Of course, I couldn’t let go of the teaching aspect so I offer Food Safety training to compliment your Food Control Plan. This gives you the added confidence in your staff and business to make sure you serve safe food and you’re not just ticking a box.
Hopefully you found this introduction helpful, speak soon - Lynda x