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Poultry Farms Take Action To Combat Campylobacter

by 5m Editor
6 August 2007, at 8:34am

NEW ZEALAND - A comprehensive new manual updating New Zealand poultry meat farmers on the latest biosecurity guidelines has been released today.

The Broiler Growing Biosecurity Manual is a joint publication from the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) and the Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand (PIANZ).

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"Our strategy is a farm-to-fork approach and this is the second to apply at farm level."

PIANZ Executive Director Michael Brooks

The publication should help ensure good bird health as well as reductions in the levels of Campylobacter in poultry meat.

NZFSA Principal Advisor (Risk Management) Judi Lee says the manual sets out recommended minimum standards for meat chicken (broiler) production.

“This is a detailed resource for the industry,” she says.

“NZFSA and PIANZ have addressed every aspect of production including shed construction, visitor restrictions, shed entry, water supply, vermin and wild bird control, harvest and cleanout. The guidelines will apply to both barn and free-range operations. There is also provision for audit – internal and external – to ensure the standards are being met.”

NZFSA says the new manual is one of a large number of initiatives aimed at combating Campylobacter.

“Our strategy is a farm-to-fork approach and this is the second to apply at farm level. We are continuing to work on other measures to further reduce Campylobacter levels on chicken throughout the food chain. NZFSA is confident the overall strategy will result in significant reductions.”

PIANZ Executive Director Michael Brooks says the poultry industry is equally determined to do everything it can to understand and combat the troublesome bacteria.

“Campylobacter occurs naturally throughout the environment,” he says. “To combat Campylobacter the industry has already adopted a science-based risk management approach. This new manual is another important step in maintaining a world class operation in New Zealand.”

Mr Brooks says one important goal is to reduce bacteria numbers on growing birds. This will result in reduced levels during processing and packaging.

“Campylobacter remains a complex global problem,” he says. “New Zealand’s poultry production standards are similar – and in many cases better – than other countries. But we can still make improvements to biosecurity by sharing expertise and best practice across the whole industry.”

The new manual has been developed as part of the New Zealand Campylobacter Risk Management Strategy and it is available on the PIANZ website (www.pianz.org.nz).

It will also be shared internationally with the Joint World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO/WHO) Codex Alimentarius Commission working group, which New Zealand co-leads. (This group was set up specifically to look into controls for Campylobacter in broiler chicken).

Go to our campylobacter information guide by clicking here.

5m Editor