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Campylobacter outbreak prompts FSANZ to action

Concern over food poisoning caused by chicken meat has heightened, leading to new production and processing standards for the poultry industry.

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) stated that the agency has identified a need to address the rise in cases of campylobacter and salmonella poisoning from chickens throughout Australia. It also said that there is increasing concern that the level of antibiotics used in the poultry industry could be making the bacteria resistant to treatment.

The new standard will put regulations in place to ensure that strict food safety controls cover the entire poultry meat industry, from farm to fork.

Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning and is on the increase, with nearly 18,000 cases confirmed in Australia in 2007 (14,750 in 2002). This year, there have nearly been 8,000 cases.

Campylobacter was a topic that was recently discussed at the World Poultry Congress in Brisbane. Experts within the industry believe it is impossible to eliminate the bacteria from chicken meat, but that it is vital to find ways to reduce it.

For further information contact:

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand

info@foodstandards.gov.au

www.foodstandards.gov.au

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