24 Sep 2009

Ban on jam sales hits hospice budget

10:11 pm on 24 September 2009

A Northland hospice has lost a big chunk of its income because it can no longer sell home-made jam at its charity shop.

Health inspectors have told Waipapa jam-maker Gloria Crawford that she needs a licence and a commercial kitchen to continue making her products for the Mid-North Hospice shop in Kerikeri.

Food Hygiene regulations say people preparing food for sale must do so on registered premises.

Mrs Crawford, 64, has been cooking since she was a girl and estimates she has made 5000 jars of preserves over the years to support St John Ambulance, the local fire service and the hospice.

Mrs Crawford says she has never heard of anyone becoming ill from her jam or pickles.

She is hanging up her jam spoon as she cannot afford to set up a commercial kitchen and is sad she can no longer contribute to her community.

Hospice manager Shelley Kertin says the jams and pickles have brought in a much-needed $15,000 a year for the hospice.

She says the loss of that income will be keenly felt - and customers of the hospice shop are already complaining.

Mrs Kertin says the ruling will also mean no hospice Christmas cakes this year.

Far North Mayor Wayne Brown says the food laws are absurd and health inspectors should have better things to do than harass women making jam for charity in their own kitchens.

Mr Brown says his council will lobby for special provisions for people cooking or baking for charity in the Government's forthcoming review of the Food Act.