Kia ora to safe kai during Māori Language Week

Wednesday 28 July 2010, 7:52AM

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) is throwing its weight behind this year’s Māori Language Week, which is dedicated to Te Mahi Kai – The Language of Food.

NZFSA community extension programme manager Raniera Bassett says kai is culturally important to Māori and Māori Language Week is an ideal opportunity to encourage people to take care with kai. “It’s really about getting the basics right: Horoia. Tunua. Whakamataohia. (Clean. Cook. Chill)

“The cultural value of kai has its roots embedded in the act of manaaki tangata – the giving and receiving of hospitality. Reciprocity is a fundamental principle of Māori culture and you want to make sure you are a responsible host and the kai you serve your guests is safe,” he says.

To help keep kai safe when it is gathered, prepared, cooked and served, NZFSA has developed a number of resources useful to all cultures. These include the ‘Food safety for seafood gatherers’ booklet to highlight the potential dangers of collecting kaimoana (seafood), the ‘Food safety for recreational hunters’ booklet to provide information about risks associated with wild game and game birds, and the ‘Food safety practices in preparing and cooking a hangi’.

“Last year we launched the marae food safety guide, Te Kai Manawa Ora, which provides step-by-step guidance on how to keep kai safe while maintaining its sanctity from a tikanga Māori (protocol and custom) perspective,” Raniera says.

“A year on, Manurewa Marae has used Te Kai Manawa Ora as one tool towards it getting an A-grade Council certification –the first marae in the country to do so. To celebrate this, TVNZ’s Breakfast programme will have Tamati Coffey broadcasting live from the marae on Wednesday 28 July, with NZFSA support. Hopefully Manurewa is just the first of many marae to get on board with this food safety initiative, which is a fantastic tool for upskilling the marae ringawera (kitchen hands).”

Te Kai Manawa Ora (written in Māori and English) provides clear, easy to follow scientifically-based and culturally-appropriate food safety information for marae cooks and their helpers who often cater for large numbers of diners.

The guide includes food safety information on traditional Māori food practices including hāngi and gathering kaimoana, watercress and puha. It also contains templates of maintenance and cleaning schedules which marae kitchen workers can use to document the food safety practices they use to help keep their whanau and guests free from foodborne illness.

Copies of Te Kai Manawa Ora can be obtained by phoning 0800 693 721.

Māori Language Week runs from July 26 – August 1.

Ētahi kōrero hihiri / Quick tips:

Horoia, Tunua. Whakamataohia – Clean. Cook. Chill.

Me wehe te wā mahi i ngā kai mata me ngā kai māoa, ā, kia mā tonu te whāwhā i ēnei roopu kai ē rua – Prepare raw and ready-to-eat kai at different times with thorough cleaning in between.

Me horoi ka whakamaroke i ō ringa i mua noa atu, me muri mai hoki i te whakataka kai – Wash and dry your hands well before and after preparing food.

Kia mau tonu tō pātaka whakamakariri kai ki te ine pāmahana marutau arā ki te 2°C - 4°C - Keep your fridge at the safe temperature of 2°C - 4°C.

Horoia o ringa ringa i mua o te kai – Please wash your hands before eating.

KAIMOANA: The New Zealand Food Safety Authority is encouraging everyone to take care with kai during Māori Language Week.