MPI's Food Safety Science Group

Find out how MPI's Food Safety Science group works within MPI and with other stakeholders to ensure that NZ is at the forefront of providing safe and suitable food.

The role of the Group

The primary purpose of the MPI Food Safety Science Group is to provide high quality, timely and practical scientific and technical advice to all MPI business groups and other stakeholders. This advice includes:

  • scientific evaluations
  • social science
  • risk assessments
  • technical tools to supplement development of standards.

It also ensures that MPI gathers, analyses and uses scientific information appropriately so that international scientific credibility of the organisation is maintained and enhanced. This means ensuring that the right scientific expertise and capacity is available.

Co-operation with Australia

The Food Safety Science Group supports the New Zealand government’s input into the trans-Tasman joint food regulatory system.

You can find out more about this relationship in the Policy & law section of the site.

Australia-New Zealand co-operation

The responsibilities of the science group include:

  • providing scientific and technical advice
  • risk management activities to support changes to the Australian and New Zealand joint food standards
  • developing standards, where needed, which apply only to New Zealand.

An example is the work relating to composition and labelling of foods. You can find out how this applies to the New Zealand food industry in the section about Labelling & composition.

Labelling & composition

How the work is carried out

The Food Safety Science Group is the key repository of scientific expertise in MPI. If carries  out its work by:

  • providing scientific and technical advice in strategic, business-as-usual and emergency food safety situations
  • identifying food safety issues that require scientific input and prioritising this work
  • using MPI Risk Management Framework (RMF), which involves all businesses within MPI, to assemble scientific and technical advice for internal and external stakeholders.

This approach supports a range of work, such as the formulation of new food standards by MPI business groups, the communication of food safety risks to the New Zealand public and the development of new strategies to monitor food safety.

Co-operation with other science providers

Where relevant, the Food Safety Science Group works with external science providers and manages research contracts to provide for MPI’s science needs. The group also participates in international organisations to gather scientific and technical information.

You can find out more about this in the section, Other NZ & international food science activities.

Other New Zealand & international food science

Key contacts