Australian egg industry cracks down on Salmonella
The Australian egg industry has continued to work closely with authorities to respond to and eliminate the threat of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) since its initial outbreak in September 2018.
Additional legislation was introduced in New South Wales in the form of a Biosecurity (Salmonella Enteritidis) Control Order to manage the risk of SE to consumers. It has been in effect since August 2019.
In its 2019–20 Annual Report, NSW Food Authority reported a reduction in compliance of the food safety program across the NSW egg industry as a result of increased regulatory controls placed on industry due to the introduction of the Biosecurity (Salmonella Enteritidis) Control Order.
Rowan McMonnies, Australian Eggs Managing Director, said SE is a relatively new and unique bacteria for Australia and responding to the threat has been a learning experience for both government and industry.
“The industry welcomed the new compliance requirements as an essential step in seeing off SE and continuing the long-term trend of improvement in food safety outcomes in New South Wales,” he said.
The new requirements have been more strictly enforced by the NSW Food Authority and include new aspects such as mandatory testing for SE.
McMonnies said that major egg businesses have been doing this for many years, but some farmers are not as familiar with the process.
“It can take time for these skills to build and egg industry bodies have worked with authorities to develop resources to help egg farmers and supply chain participants identify possible risk factors and address any gaps,” he said.
Through responsiveness and continual improvement, the egg industry has been able to minimise the threat of SE.
“Consumers can take comfort that there are currently no known cases in NSW and that these measures will make eggs even safer in the future.”
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