Microbes identified as main threat in new Australian food safety guidance

The Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia New Zealand (FPSC) has issued a new advisory document, aimed at minimising instances of dangerous contamination of foodstuffs in the two countries.

The independent body received both public sector funding from Australian state authorities and local supermarket chain Woolworths to produce its Guidelines for Fresh Produce Food Safety.

The advisory document has been produced at a time when instances of food poisoning overall are declining, but salmonella infections are booming in Australia. One state, Queensland, reported in March this year that incidents linked to this specific bacteria were running at double the rate recorded in 2014.

Speaking to local news channel ABC, FPSC technology manager Richard Bennett says: ‘Our supply chains have become more items, and Australian consumers can expect to fall ill from food contamination every four or five years on average due to contaminated food.’

He continues: ‘Our aim was to reinvigorate the safety, to give it greater focus, make information available to industry.

‘[The guidance] is a combination of the best knowledge, experience and research pulled together in one document, [which] applies through the supply chain, from farm to retail, and trans-Tasman, with Australian and New Zealand expertise. Industry put this as their number one priority for what we actually needed.’

This article comes from Food Contact World, which provides exclusive news and analysis on developments in digital print trends, markets, and technologies.