Friday, February 08, 2013

Vic Government ignores food safety

We had our food safety inspection by our local council (Bass Coast Shire) Health Officer yesterday and all was well. Our grading room, cool room, delivery and egg handling procedures were all demonstrably OK.

But I couldn't help myself. I referred to the recent post I put up here and how outraged I felt that in Victoria ALL egg sellers are not legally required to record the temperatures at which their eggs are stored.

We do it as a matter of course – we have a detailed Food Safety Programme which is a key part of our operation. Many farms in Victoria don't bother with records which show their temperature control procedures or their egg cleaning methods (and if eggs are dirty there is a farm management problem).

I received an email from Heather Haines, Manager, Evidence Program of FoodSafety Victoria who said “The new Primary Production and Processing standard does not, in fact, specify that eggs should be transported and stored at cool temperatures Although temperature control is not specified in the standard, cool transport and storage of eggs (along with the control of humidity) are recommended in several industry codes of practice and state government, for the reasons you discuss".

I was gobsmacked! It seems that all those clowns who are transporting eggs for many hours or days in unrefrigerated vans are not breaking any laws. As temperature control “is not specified” they can ignore it – and they do. There are heaps of examples of eggs being transported at uncontrolled temperatures for many hours to markets in Melbourne and other places. It maybe be OK in cool conditions – but I am disgusted that the Victorian Government allows it to happen when temperatures higher than specified levels encourage the growth of bacteria and pathogens. Why wait for the problem to kill people!!

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