The Queensland egg industry has moved quickly to further strengthen its biosecurity, hygiene and product quality processes to minimise any risk of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) from occurring here.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said it followed outbreaks of SE in southern states linked to farmed eggs.
“Obviously we want to avoid anybody falling ill in Queensland and I am very pleased to see the industry working closely with Safe Food Production Queensland and Biosecurity Queensland to safeguard consumers,” Mr Furner said.
“A new Salmonella Enteritidis Prevention Plan (SEPP) will soon be in place, which will improve hygiene and biosecurity controls on-farm and within egg grading and handling workspaces.
“Accredited egg businesses in Queensland already have high standards for tracing eggs through the supply chain, and managing any cracked and dirty eggs, but the new SEPP puts greater emphasis on addressing specific risks associated with SE.”
Director of Egg Farmers of Australia and CEO of Queensland United Egg Producers, John Coward, said the SEPP had been an industry-led initiative.
“The Australian egg industry has already witnessed the dramatic effects of SE, with infected farms in NSW and Victoria placed under strict quarantine orders and infected flocks destroyed,” Mr Coward said.
“Queensland has been quick to respond, developing a set of new standard operating procedures for all egg businesses to follow to enhance biosecurity and ensure long-term sustainability of our industry.”
CEO of Egg Farmers of Australia, Melinda Hashimoto, said that the SEPP would strengthen the Queensland egg industry through cross agency collaboration and would set the foundation for a national approach.
Starting in the New Year, Safe Food will be checking compliance by egg producers to ensure everybody is following these new standard operating procedures.
Safe Food has contacted all accredited egg businesses about the SEPP.
For more information, producers or processors can contact Safe Food on (07) 3253 9800.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
The Honourable Mark Furner