In order to protect Australia’s global reputation as a source of safe, traceable, quality red meat and to verify the performance based monitoring systems that underpin the Australia Standard (AS) for Hygienic Production and Transportation of Meat and Meat Products for Human Consumption, the Australian red meat industry and the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Services (AQIS) conduct regular pathogen assessment and monitoring programs.
These ensure the ongoing delivery of safe and hygienic red meat products that meet consumer and regulatory requirements.
Work under these pathogen programs is supported by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA). A key component of these programs is related to microbiological food safety and examines the use of scientific approaches to understanding food safety risks and develops systems to manage identified risks.
Generic E. coli and Salmonella Monitoring Program
The Generic E. coli and Salmonella Monitoring Program is a national program for the microbiological monitoring of carcase surfaces. Under the program, carcase surfaces of all species of livestock slaughtered in Australia for export are tested for generic E. coli and Salmonella.
The testing of carcase surfaces for E. coli is to verify process controls, while Salmonella testing is required to verify pathogen reduction.
This proactive approach towards prevention of any pathogen problem ensures market access is maintained and that safe and hygienic red meat is delivered to customers every time.
Shelf life prediction tools
Further work undertaken regarding pathogens supported by SAFEMEAT and conducted by MLA, is based on the development of shelf life prediction tools for red meat products.
The culmination of this will be to produce a tool that will allow processors to predict the shelf life of product in relevant markets, support marketing efforts and encourage revision of restrictive shelf life regulations in a number of markets to ensure that only hygienic and safe produce is available to consumers.
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Did You Know...
Australia holds a disease free status for FMD and TSE (BSE or 'mad-cows' disease and Scrapie)
The Australian red meat industry works closely with state and federal government agencies to ensure Australia’s meat safety systems remain world class.
Australian red meat —
Safe, healthy and delicious.