Egg safety for Egg Producers • OzFoodNet, the Australian national surveillance system for food borne diseases, has reported an increase in the number of egg-related Salmonella outbreaks across Australia in 2006 and 2007. • In these outbreaks a wide range of foods have been identified as the cause, including uncooked foods made with raw eggs (desserts, salad dressings, sauces, milkshakes) and undercooked eggs. • In response, the Victorian Department of Human Services, Department of Primary Industries and Victorian Farmers Federation have produced a series of egg safety brochures for egg wholesalers, distributors and retailers, the food service industry and consumers, along with this egg safety reminder for egg producers. • Information contained in the egg safety brochures can be found at: www.health.vic.gov.au, www.dpi.vic.gov.au, www.vff.org.au/eggs. Legislation Legislation covering eggs is found under the general provisions of the Food Act 1984 and the Food Standard Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code. A reminder of best practice in egg production: • Keep feed and water free from contamination. • Ensure that litter and nesting materials are changed regularly, and that laying areas are cleaned regularly. • When collecting eggs ensure that faulty eggs are removed. • Always store and transport eggs below 20°C, and avoid excessive temperature fluctuations. • Industry recommends that cool rooms used to store eggs are kept between 11°C and 16°C. • Eggs can be dry cleaned using a clean dry sanitised cloth or other abrasive material. • If washing eggs, keep the temperature of the wash solution above that of the egg to ensure that contaminating matter is not sucked into the eggs – dry eggs well before storing them. • Candle and grade all eggs carefully, and remove all rejected eggs to a separate container. • Pack eggs in clean, single use trays or packaging, and give a best-before date of five weeks from the date of lay. For further information on safe egg production refer to the Code of Practice for Shell Egg Production, Grading, Packing and Distribution at www.aecl.org Authorised by the State Government of Victoria, 50 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. November 2008. IMMUN0005.
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