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What is the first thing my EHO Officer is looking for when they come on site?


Nervous business owners ask us every day - what is the first thing our EHO officer is going to look for at our food safety standards assessment? The honest answer is a cup of coffee.

Nothing relaxes an awkward situation quite like a shared cup of coffee, and let's face it, a visit from the EHO officer can lend itself to being a little awkward.

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the bad experiences shared with us daily the thought of embarking on the journey of a food safety programme can be daunting. Step back, take a deep breath and follow our basic guidelines below. And remember - you’ve got this!

1. Don’t rush them.

It is important you put your officer at ease as soon as they arrive at your establishment. This is about building long term relationships and should not be rushed. In all seriousness - offer them a cup of coffee and introduce yourself and your business properly.

Try to avoid rushing your officer through to show them how ‘clean’ your establishment is. Instead take the time to show them around and allow them to see your safe food handling for themselves.

2. Be confident and reassured.

When talking to your EHO Officer about your business remain confident. Rather than waiting for a direct question to answer, talk freely about your food safety story. What is it that you are proud of? What have you found more of a struggle? How did you go about developing your food control plan?

3. It’s about the journey, not the destination.

What the EHO Officer is looking for in your food control plan is the journey you and your business have been on.

Things go wrong in food businesses every day and the officer knows it. The officer is more interested in finding out whether you recognised food safety issues when they arose and what you put in place to stop it from happening again. They are not looking for you and your business to have a perfect record in you food control diary, they are looking for evidence that you and your business are on the correct journey.

Foodcontrolplans.co.nz can help you with everything from developing your full food control plan to running a pre-audit check to ensure you are fully prepared for your visit. If you would like to take this journey with us give us a shout on hello@foodcontrolplans.co.nz

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