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.

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