Tasmania’s Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment proposes new food safe regulations which would affect the state’s many backyard chicken breeders. The government body wants to improve the accountability of anyone selling eggs in the state, no matter what the size of their flocks.
Preventing Contaminated Eggs From Entering the Market
Egg sellers would be required to register their name, address, the number of chickens, and the location of their coop, with the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment. They would also be required to stamp every egg sold with a uniquely identifiable mark. This would make it easier for eggs to be traced, which would in turn make it simpler for authorities to address food safety concerns and prevent more contaminated eggs entering the market.
Anyone who fails to comply with the regulations or inform the authorities of any changes to their circumstances would receive a $650 fine.
Breeders Need to Implement Food Safety Programs or Face the Fines
Breeders with more than 20 birds would also need to gain accreditation and implement an egg food safety program. The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment would also audit these breeders once a year.
Fines for these large-scale chicken breeders who do not comply would be amplified. The state body has suggested an on-the-spot $6,500 fine for large-scale breeders that ignore the regulations, along with additional fines of $650 a day for every day that the guidelines are not met.
Egg-Related Illnesses Costing Australia $44 Million
These changes would bring Tasmania in line with other Australian states and territories. The guidelines were developed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand in response to Australia’s high levels of egg-related illnesses. It’s estimated that 12,000 incidents of egg-related illnesses occur every year in Australia, at a cost of $44 million.
Tasmanians have been encouraged to register their feelings on the proposal with the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment ahead of a final ruling.