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Benchmark research on the poultry meat industry

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FOOD Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is preparing to implement a new standard in Chapter 4 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

Chapter 4 will see national food regulation extend across all parts of the food chain, including primary production, processing and retail – in essence from paddock to plate.

One of these new standards due, to be introduced in 2006, is the Primary Production and Processing Standard for Poultry Meat. This standard will complement the existing Chapter 3 Food Safety Standards.

In order to assist in the evaluation of the implementation of this standard in the future, FSANZ has identified the need for benchmark data on awareness, knowledge and behaviour of poultry meat businesses, government enforcement officers and consumers in relation to food safety issues.

These benchmark data will provide FSANZ with information about the poultry meat industry before the standard is implemented in all States and Territories in Australia.

FSANZ identified three key stakeholder groups for the research: the poultry meat industry including poultry growers, processors, and wholesalers and retailers; government enforcement officers at the state and local government level; and consumers.

Computer assisted telephone interviews (CATI) surveys were conducted for all three stakeholder groups.

Questions were asked of all stakeholders about their awareness and knowledge of food safety practices and sources of information on food safety issues.

For the food industry and enforcement officers additional questions were asked on the potential for different stages in the food chain to lead to foodborne illness, on awareness of the FSANZ Food Standards Code (Chapter 3 Food Safety Standards and the proposed Chapter 4 Standards) and about the regulations and guidelines currently used by each sector.

Enforcement officers were also asked about their current responsibilities with respect to the poultry meat industry, where the gaps in regulations were with regards to preventing foodborne illness and how their responsibilities may change once the Chapter 4 Primary Production and Processing Standard for Poultry Meat is implemented.

This report comprises a short executive summary of the research project, an interpretative summary of the main findings for each of the three stakeholder groups and the main report with the methodology used for each stakeholder group and full results. It should be noted that research findings are based on the telephone surveys report on people’s opinions, awareness and knowledge of food safety issues not on actual practices.

The full report is available from the FSANZ website.

Source: FSANZ

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