Eggs produced in NSW must now be stamped with a unique identifying mark to improve traceability.
Minister Katrina Hodgkinson says that the measure has been put in place as part of a new national standard that is designed to reduce the impact of potential future food poisoning outbreaks.
Hodgkinson said that the industry has been widely compliant in adopting the new requirements as producers see the value in protecting their customers and improving traceability.
"Egg stamping will mean that the source of an outbreak will be more easily traced and contained," said Hodgkinson.
"Eggs are a leading source of Salmonella – between 2010 and 2014 in NSW there were 40 food poisoning outbreaks associated with eggs, affecting more than 700 people, with many requiring hospitalisation.”
In order to help smaller businesses comply with the new requirements, the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has provided free stamps to small businesses producing less than 1000 eggs a day.
Hodgkinson’s notes that the state government has introduced a few exemptions for operators that produce less than 20 dozen eggs a week, and also for those that sell eggs direct from the farm gate.
“For the most part, from today people should only buy eggs that have the unique stamp on the shell,” she says.
"We recognise that there will be a transitional period where there may still be unstamped product in the market and the NSW Food Authority will be monitoring compliance with this requirement from 26 November.”
A recent study from the Australian National University found that while overall cases of foodborne illness has declined slightly, cases involving Salmonella and Campylobacter have increased.
Between 2000 and 2010, the number of foodborne illnesses fell by 17 percent, however the number of recorded Salmonella cases increased by 24 percent.