The Salmonella Initiative
An enduring challenge and reputational issue for the egg industry is caused by the presence of Salmonella spp. (particularly some Typhimurium serotypes), which can cause salmonellosis in humans, throughout the supply chain.
The presence and spread of Salmonella depends on numerous variables, and as such, there is no single effective control measure.
There is an abundance of information available regarding many aspects of Salmonella prevention and control, however the type and availability of this information varies through-chain and is therefore not utilised effectively.
Through the Salmonella Initiative the AECL has been collaborating with relevant through-chain stakeholders (producers, retailers, health departments, regulators, food service operators, chefs) to identify the risk at various stages through chain. This will allow the individual stakeholder to implement a control measure or measures which would be appropriate for their own operation.
Through this process it has been identified that greater focus on education of the risks are required through-out the entire supply chain, more formalised processes need to be in place for trace back investigations to ensure the appropriate process failure is identified and rectified (to prevent future occurrence) and greater collaboration of all stakeholders cross-jurisdictionally (it’s a national problem, not a state-based one).
The ultimate output of the Salmonella Initiative, the through-chain risk identification report which utilises research-based knowledge as the basis for identifying each risk and identifies knowledge gaps that can be filled through the AECL R&D program is available here.
AECL has produced a food safety and handling pamphlet and poster for the food service industry, endorsed by the Food Safety Information Council and the Restaurant and Catering Association which you can download below.