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Biosecurity Advice 2017-08 - Importation of high pressure processed chicken meat - request for stakeholder comment

​2 June 2017

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources invites stakeholders to provide comment on high pressure processing of chicken meat as an equivalent risk management measure to the recommendations in the Generic import risk analysis (IRA) for chicken meat: final import risk analysis report (2008). Comments are due by 1 August 2017.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has statutory authority for managing the biosecurity risk of imported goods, and can decide to review or amend an import policy if alternative risk management measures demonstrate an equivalent level of biosecurity protection or if new, peer-reviewed scientific information becomes available.

The department has reviewed the paper by Buckow et al (2017) High pressure inactivation of selected avian viral pathogens in chicken meat homogenate Food Control 73: 215-222, which investigated high pressure processing as a means to inactivate avian viral pathogens in chicken meat homogenate. Buckow et al (2017) concluded that high pressure processing, used under commercially viable conditions as specified in the study, may be suitable to avoid the risk of avian viral pathogens via contaminated chicken meat.

Following review of the paper and other currently available published scientific literature, the department is proposing that high pressure processing of chicken meat, within specific parameters, may be used as an equivalent risk management measure to the heat treatments in the Generic import risk analysis (IRA) for chicken meat: final import risk analysis report (2008; Chicken meat IRA).

Adequate heat treatment of chicken meat, including retorting, is the current measure that addresses the risks associated with a number of diseases of avian biosecurity concern, including avian influenza virus, Newcastle Disease virus and infectious bursal disease virus.

Imported high pressure processed chicken meat would also need to comply with other risk management measures as specified in the Chicken meat IRA. Food safety requirements would be provided for in line with commercial manufacturing processes and the requirements of the Imported Food Control Act 1992.

The department invites comments on the scientific aspects of high pressure processing as an equivalent risk management measure to the heat treatments in the Chicken meat IRA before any changes to the current policy for the importation of chicken meat are made.

The Chicken meat IRA is available on the department’s website.

Comments should be submitted by 1 August 2017 to:

Animal Biosecurity
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
GPO Box 858
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6272 4465
Facsimile: +61 2 6272 3856

Email: Animal

All submissions received will be carefully considered by Animal Biosecurity before any changes in policy are made.

Please pass this notice to other interested parties. If those parties wish to be included in future communications on this matter they should contact Animal Biosecurity.

Confidentiality

Stakeholders are advised that, subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and the Privacy Act 1988, all submissions received in response to Biosecurity Advices will be publicly available and may be listed or referred to in any papers or reports prepared on the subject matter.

The Commonwealth reserves the right to reveal the identity of a respondent unless a request for anonymity accompanies the submission. Where a request for anonymity does not accompany the submission the respondent will be taken to have consented to the disclosure of his or her identity for the purposes of Information Privacy Principle 11 of the Privacy Act. The contents of the submission will only be treated as confidential if they are marked ‘confidential’ and they can be classified as such in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.

[signed]

Andrew Cupit
Assistant Secretary
Animal Biosecurity