During efforts to examine outbreaks of the year 2018 and 2019, about 4000 samples were taken into consideration as per the annual food testing report of an Australian state.
According to the reports of the New South Wales (NSW) Food Authority food and environmental samples were put forward for investigations between July 2018 and June 2019 in context of foodborne sickness inquiries.
One example discussed in a recent report was about rising Salmonella Enteritidis cases since the mid of the year 2018.
Food samples comprised more than 100 locally manufactured or imported foods including fresh and dried vegetables, seafood, spices, egg-containing foods, nuts and eggs. Environmental samples were stock feed, swabs, water, and poultry fecal samples as well as eggs.
Salmonella Enteritidis was detected on 13 stuffs in NSW and on 1 in Victoria interlinked by movements of people, eggs or equipment. It was found in NSW farm initially in September 2018. More than 220 cases were observed in Australia including 193 in NSW due to the outbreak.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries enhanced observance and management at egg farms and granted biosecurity directions to few things such as quarantining them to avoid movement of eggs into the market.
Some other measures like farm depopulation, disinfection and decontamination were also adopted. The Biosecurity (Salmonella Enteritidis) Control Order was announce in August 2019 to aid in putting up incessant biosecurity levels. Observance and supervision at egg farms was started to be functional from 2020.
Meanwhile, Salmonella Typhimurium cases plateaued showed a little hike during 2018-19 many of which was connected to one egg farm, contributing to 20 percent of all such cases in NSW. Illness may have been due to poor handling of eggs in some businesses, improper cleaning and sanitization of surfaces or equipment, and using raw egg products.
The farm executed extra cleaning and sanitization of farm equipment and is now planning to vaccinating birds to minimize the risk of the outbreak. These steps appear to have been advantageous, with a decrement in this type of salmonella cases in NSW.
DTS Food Assurance is the major testing partner conducting testing of about 90% samples.
Besides, 162 ready-to-eat food samples collected randomly from 71 firms were tested out of which three were non-amenable as two samples of soft cheese and one of gelato had E. coli .more than the allowed limit.
Further efforts included investigations from the Food Authority, re-sampling of product for analysis and ongoing compliance activities.
Additionally, 196 and 312 whole chickens and chicken portions respectively were sourced from processing plants and retailers. Salmonella was detected in 21.4 percent and Campylobacter was found in 86.7 percent of samples from processing plants while 25.8 percent of samples confirmed presence Salmonella and 89.9 percent of samples had Camplylobacter in the samples from retailers.
A retail review studied if and how Campylobacter is transferred to ready-to-eat (RTE) products. It involved 22 councils, 169 retail food premises with 593 swabs collected and 281 food samples tested. Of 258 RTE chicken and pate samples, two were contaminated with Campylobacter.
Later, 11 more samples were found contaminated with E. coli.
During 2018 to 2019 financial year, 76 samples of pipis were examined for main algal toxin groups: amnesic shellfish toxin, paralytic shellfish toxins, and diarrhetic shellfish toxins prevalent coastal waters of NSW. Diarrhetic shellfish toxins were found in 13 samples out of them.
Between July 2018 and June 2019, 1,598 investigations of validated retail meat firms and 31 tests of raw meat from 14 shops were done for SO2 after positive field tests. Twenty-eight of these were positive, with 13 to 3,600 mg/kg.
Another assesment was of Listeria in rockmelon, also called cantaloupes and packhouses. More than 940 melon and environmental samples were gathered to observe the presence of Listeria, Salmonella, and standard plate count. Listeria was found only in one sample. The only Salmonella detected was in untreated water.