Thursday, March 28, 2019

Egg industry agrees that high poultry stocking densities pose huge food poisoning risk for consumers

Major egg farmers in Australia recognise that the high outdoor 'freerange' stocking density of 10,000 hens per hectare approved by politicians puts consumers at risk as well as threatening the health of hens. Victorian Farmers Federation egg group president Brian Ahmed  agrees with us that intensive farms should not be described as free range. He used the salmonella scare in Victoria which resulted in a national recall as the basis for saying “Free-range sounds good but it was never meant to be a mass-produced farming system. It was only ever meant to be on a small-scale level.” Mr Ahmed also said he was not surprised that there was an outbreak in the industry.“ We knew this was going to happen, it was a matter of when not if, because the more chickens we put on the ground and the more we run free-range, the higher the risk." At Freeranger Eggs we have always argued that free range is a niche market and requires low stocking densities. John O’Hara, managing Director of Sunny Queen - one of this county’s largest egg producers is on record saying that the maximum allowable outdoor stocking density for free range egg production should be 1500 hens per hectare. Mr O'Hara is a former board member of the Australian Egg Corporation Ltd.(now Australian Eggs).

Friday, March 22, 2019

Salmonella contamination caught some producers by surprise

The recent outbreak of salmonella enteritidis on a farm in Victoria, caught egg producers by surprise. This particular version of the food poisoning bacteria has not been endemic in Australia - until now. Other forms of salmonella contamination are a result of poor egg handling procedures.There are several ways that hens in laying flocks can be infected with Salmonella enteritidis. There is often a low level of infection at the start of the laying period which indicates that contamination from breeding stock is minor. It is not yet known how this contamination happened but laying flocks seem to become infected mainly from the farm environment including not properly cleaned and disinfected poultry houses and infected vermin present on the farm.Major egg producers operate as a grading floor and purchase eggs from many sources throughout Australia, so it can be hard to trace the origin of any contamination. Australian Eggs, the body which represents egg producers in the country is desperately trying to hose down food safety issues after the recent salmonella enteritidis scare. Managing Director Rowan McMonnies said, “We will continue to work with authorities to Avoid SE becoming endemic in Australia and protect our longstanding reputation as a producer of clean safe eggs.” The industry body is scrambling to resurrect the reputation of farmers after the damage caused by a string of intensive producers who labeled their eggs as free range and politicians protected them by approving an intensive 'free range' definition.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Farm back on line after NBN fiasco

The National Broadband Network fiasco keeps rolling on. Following three days of chaos after being connected to the NBN and VOIP, we are now back on line. We had to take our wireless router back to our ISP, DCSI in Warragul to be reconfigured - even though it was bought from them as NBN ready. Then we had to buy a wi fi USB adapter for the farm PC because the NBN unit was installed in a different room.It all seems to be sorted now - fingers crossed. With all the negative publicity about NBN we were not willing participants - but we were told that the old telephone and ADSL2 system would be cut off so we had no choice!

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Full range of eggs available at the farm and outlets

A full range of eggs is available at the farm gate, and most sizes are stocked at our outlets, Macca's Farm, Glen Forbes, Grantville Pantry, Corinella Store, San Remo Butcher and Angels Health Foods Cowes.