What is happening with the primary production and processing proposals for meat?
FSANZ is progressing Proposal P1005 (covering major meat species) and proposal P1014 (covering other animals and wild game) as one proposal—P1014.
What is being proposed in P1014?
FSANZ is consulting on the inclusion of three primary production requirements for major and minor meat species e.g. cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, buffalo, camels, alpacas, llamas, deer, horses, donkeys, rabbits, crocodiles, ostrich and emu.
These requirements are:
- a meat producer must have a system to identify the persons –
(a) from whom animals were received; and
(b) to whom animals were supplied.
These changes will be contained in Standard 4.2.3 of the Food Standards Code.
The primary production requirements will not apply to wild game animals.
How will the proposed PPP standard improve current meat industry practices?
The Food Standards Code will contain regulatory requirements for primary producers and list the existing Australian Standards for processors. All requirements will be in the one place.
The standard recognises that existing state and territory legislative requirements adequately manage food safety hazards at the processing point in the food supply chain. These arrangements will be retained.
Export certification arrangements are also currently managed by the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture (DoA) through the Export Control Orders which reference the Australian Standards and, as these Standards will be retained under the PPP standard, it is expected that no change will occur to current export certification arrangements once the PPP standard is implemented.
This means meat processors and regulators will have a ‘business as usual’ mandate and will be able to seamlessly implement the PPP standard into existing practices. In other words if a meat processor is compliant with existing state and territory legislation and continues to be compliant they will comply with the PPP standard. Being able to conduct business as usual means the PPP standard won’t affect export industry practices and certification arrangements.
The PPP standard also recognises the practicalities of industry practice by allowing wild game animals to continue to be managed by existing state and territory requirements.
The PPP standard means that if there is a food incident, regulators will be able to investigate food safety matters through the entire meat supply chain. This ability does not exist under current arrangements (e.g. the operation of feedlots and saleyards are not covered by food legislation). Having this ability provides the public and industry with assurance that the regulator can investigate, require action to remedy the situation where appropriate, and evaluate food safety matters at any point in the meat supply chain.
How will the PPP standard be implemented?
State and territory regulatory agencies are responsible for implementing food standards. The Meat Implementation Working Group, a national working group with membership from these agencies, as well as the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, has developed a national compliance plan which will be available for comment with the draft regulatory requirements.
The plan’s principle message is that if a business is compliant with current law, and continues to be compliant with the requirements of that law they will be compliant when the PPP standard is implemented.
What will happen to the Australian Standards for processing?
The processing of the major and minor meat species is currently covered by the following Australian Standards:
AS4696 - 2007 Hygienic Production and Transportation of Meat and Meat Products for Human Consumption
AS 4466 - 1998 Hygienic Production of Rabbit Meat for Human Consumption
AS 4467-1998 Hygienic Production of Crocodile Meat for Human Consumption
AS5010 - 2001 Hygienic Production of Ratite Meat for Human Consumption
AS 4464 - 2007 Hygienic Production of Wild Game Meat for Human Consumption.
These standards, including the animal welfare provisions, will be retained under state and territory legislation.
What effect will the proposed changes have on processors?
Processors are already required to comply with specified Australian Standards under state and territory law and this will not change. There are no additional processing requirements under this proposal.
When can I comment on the proposed changes?
FSANZ released the 2nd call for submissions for P1015 on 8 October 2013. The period for comment on this Proposal has now closed.
Has industry been involved in this process?
Yes. There has been previous public consultation on this work and industry has provided input. A Standards Development Committee with representatives from industry, the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, state and territory government agencies and consumer organisations provides ongoing advice to FSANZ on this work. A working group was also established with representatives from the relevant minor meat species and wild game industry sectors and state and territory government agencies.
When will the proposed changes come into effect?
If the changes are approved by FSANZ and Ministers responsible for food regulation, it is anticipated they would come into effect mid-July 2015.