Thursday, April 25, 2019

Eggs safe from salmonella enteritidis contamination

The Food and Agriculture Organisation has tracked the risks of food poisoning from Salmonella enteritidis in eggs.The lowest risk of illness is predicted when prevelence in a flock is 5% and storage times and temperatures are reduced. In this scenario, the calculated risk is 2 illnesses in 10 million servings. The highest risk is predicted when salmonella prevalence in a flock is 50% and storage times and temperatures are elevated. The findings show that consumers have little risk of illness if flock health is good, the hens are in clean conditions,eggs are stored at correct temperatures and consumed soon after being laid.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

No lights in our laying sheds

Our flocks of Isa Brown hens lead a natural lifestyle – as close as possible to the way of life of their ancestors - jungle fowl. Each flock size is less than 300 birds and every hens has unrestricted access to paddocks with pasture, shrubs and trees. This provides an ideal environment for foraging. The hens are never locked in sheds – not even at night. They are protected from predators by Maremma guardian dogs. Roost houses with nest boxes are provided for each flock with only natural light in the sheds. Most egg producers maximise egg numbers by installing artificial lights in sheds to trick the birds into maintaining their lay rate at times they should be moulting and resting. We prefer to let our hens follow their natural life rythms which means they stop laying once daylight hours are reduced.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Farmers and salmonella victims may consider legal action

Farmers and victims of salmonella contamination in eggs may follow the example of Dutch egg farmers in taking legal action for their losses. Some 124 poultry farmers and a farming lobby group are taking the Dutch state to court following the 2017 contaminated egg scandal, which led to millions of eggs and 3.5 million chickens being destroyed. The poultry farmers say the government’s food and product safety board was negligent in dealing with the 2017 fipronil crisis which resulted in hundreds of poultry farms being closed. The salmonella scare here is not as widespread, but it appears to have resulted from the direct actions of politicians in approving a dangerously high stocking density on free range farms, and inaction by Food Standards Australia New Zealand and other regulatory bodies in not preventing the standard.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Electric egg delivery van

Freeranger Eggs plans to be the first free range farm to use an electric delivery van. The move will enhance our environmentally sustainable business, Ace Electric vehicles is building its cargo van in Brisbane and Tesla is expected to introduce a small van soon. We currently use a Holden Combo for deliveries and it will be great to use an Australian-built vehicle to reduce our environmental footprint even further.The Cargo has a 500kg carrying capacity with a range of 150 -200kms on a charge.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Food poisoning from dodgy "freerange' eggs

A spike in food poisoning as a result of salmonella in eggs is hardly surprising given the intensive stocking densities approved for free range egg production in Australia. So far, politicians and bureaucrats have ignored implications for food safety. Animal health and land sustainability from such high densities. A laying hen produces half a cubic metre of manure a year. So with a stocking density of 10,000 hens per hectare farmers who follow the advice will see their land covered with 5000 cubic metres of manure per hectare every year. As chicken manure has high levels of nitrogen, 1.5%,phosphorus,0.5% and potassium 0.8%, it will likely render the land useless for farming within a few years. Contamination of groundwater and water courses is also likely. But the implications for consumers are also serious with a range of pathogens to which the laying hens are exposed by reckless high density production. Dangerous pathogens include Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria and Campylobacter.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Australian Eggs holds crisis meetings over salmonella

Australian Eggs is desperately trying to restore some consumer confidence in the Egg industry after food poisoning issues from eggs contaminated with salmonella. In an email to members, Australian Eggs says “It is critically important that everyone is aware of the risks and takes the necessary precautions to protect their business and the industry's reputation. In addition to supporting the industry with resources, Australian Eggs is engaging with authorities to ensure any incident response is coordinated and has the benefit of industry input. Australian Eggs has coordinated a meeting next week between egg industry representative bodies and health and agriculture authorities in each state to ensure a productive engagement process can be developed." It’s a pity Australian Eggs allowed this problem to occur by conning politicians into approving a dangerous outdoor stocking density for laying hens. The previous code of practice limited stocking density on free range farms to 1500 hens per hectare but in a profit chase the industry demanded approval for 10,000 hens per hectare – a dangerous and unsustainable figure.