Food safety is an imperative for our industry.
The important caveat with many raw foods is however that the food has to be handled and prepared correctly. Once the product leaves our cool rooms, it is essential that the cool chain is maintained both before and after the product is purchased by the consumer. It is also essential that the product is heated (cooked) to the correct temperature.
This micro site provides information and tips on good hygiene practices to reduce food safety risks and ensure Australian chicken is enjoyed by all.
The main concern are bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter which occur naturally on meat, eggs and all other fresh food including salads, vegetables, fruit and nuts.
The chicken meat industry supports safe food handling throughout the food supply chain, through research, through its own production and processing quality assurance systems and through activities to educate consumers in the safe handling of food.
All food, with the exception of sterilised foods such as canned produce, contains bacteria. Most of these bacteria are harmless or even an essential part of the production process such as in cheese. However some bacteria can become a problem if food is not stored and handled correctly.
The Australian Department of Health estimates that food-borne bacteria lead to food poisoning in over five million Australians every year. For this reason it is imperative that all food is handled with care. The bacteria most commonly found on chicken meat is Campylobacter, a bacteria present in the gut of all animals and a potential risk in all types of meat.
Most importantly, any risk from bacteria is completely eliminated if meat is cooked properly and care is taken not to contaminate other cooked foods or those to be eaten raw, such as salad.