October 20, 2021


Regulators toughen rules for New Zealand's chicken sector to tackle salmonella



Regulators in New Zealand have tightened the rules for the country's chicken sector to try and tackle a type of salmonella linked to human illnesses.


The new rules came into force earlier this month and attempt to manage almonella Enteritidis across chicken breeder, hatchery, rearers, broiler and egg laying operations in New Zealand, according to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).


There have been more than 110 cases of Salmonella Enteritidis since January 2019 and 48 from January to July this year. The outbreak strain has been identified in poultry and at egg farms. It was first detected two years ago in an outbreak linked to a restaurant in the Auckland region. Since 2019, it has been associated with four other outbreaks.


Action was taken in response to recent positive Salmonella Enteritidis tests at several New Zealand poultry farms and applies to all operators within the chicken supply chain. The aim is to mitigate the risks by strengthening current controls, verifications and testing levels.


The order applies for six months and does not cover other poultry or eggs for farms with 100 or less laying hens selling direct to consumers.


Until recently, Salmonella Enteritidis had not been detected in New Zealand's commercial chicken flocks.


In July, New Zealand Food Safety (NZFS) extended a programme of testing to determine the extent of Salmonella Enteritidis in poultry flocks.


Tracing and testing of poultry operations began after Salmonella Enteritidis was found at an Auckland poultry farm.


Restrictions were placed on three North Island egg layer operations preventing potentially contaminated eggs from reaching consumers.


- Food Safety News