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General Circular – Salmonella Enteritidis mandatory testing

25 Aug 2021

On 30 June 2020, the Biosecurity (Salmonella Enteritidis) Control Order 2020 was amended to include mandatory testing for Salmonella Enteritidis (SE). This amendment requires all licensed egg businesses in NSW to undertake mandatory testing.

Who needs to undertake mandatory testing?

All licensed egg businesses that produce eggs in NSW must complete routine testing of their facility for SE. This testing is critical to the eradication and prevention of SE in the food chain to ensure the safety of eggs and egg products and maintain consumer confidence in the egg industry. 

Pullet rearing facilities, breeder farms and chicken meat farms are not required to conduct sampling and testing for SE. However, if a breeder farm also produces and sells eggs for consumption, they will need to carry out this testing.

What do I need to do to comply with the mandatory testing requirements?

To comply with the testing requirements, there are three options:

  1. Participate in the National Salmonella Enteritidis Monitoring Accreditation Program (NSEMAP). This voluntary quality assurance program has a relatively small cost and focuses on testing requirements and accreditation processes that will help ensure freedom from SE. For more information on the NSEMAP visit the National Salmonella Enteritidis Monitoring & Accreditation Program Guidelines.
  2. Sample every individual shed/poultry housing area at the premises every 12-15 weeks and send the samples to a NSW NSEMAP accredited laboratory for testing. Sampling must be done according to instructions provided by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI). These can be found in appendix 1 (NSW DPI SE Sampling Schedule) of How to comply with the Biosecurity (Salmonella Enteritidis) Control Order 2020.
  3. Conduct an equivalent testing program to options 1 or 2. An equivalent testing program should be assessed by the DPI before implementation.

When do I need to start testing?

These legal testing requirements came into effect on 1 July 2020. DPI advised producers of a grace period that ended on 1 October 2020. If you have not yet carried out a test, or are not conducting testing at the required frequency, you may be in breach of the Biosecurity Act and liable for enforcement action.

Failing to comply with a Control Order is an offence under section 75 of the Biosecurity Act 2015. DPI will be conducting investigations and contacting producers to obtain evidence of completed testing. Any producer who fails to produce this evidence can be issued with a Penalty Notice.  

Producers who continue to fail or refuse to carry out testing as outlined in the Control Order may be prosecuted which can attract significant penalties.

Support

The DPI are assisting industry by funding the cost of one pooled sample per farm every 12-15 weeks. This support will remain in place until the Control Order expires. To access this funding, samples need to be tested at either:

NSW DPI Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute 
Phone: 1800 675 623 
Email: laboratory.services@dpi.nsw.gov.au 
Postal address: Private Bag 4008, Narellan NSW 2567 
Delivery address: Woodbridge Road, Menangle NSW 2568

OR

Birling Avian Laboratories
Phone: (02)4774 6100 Postal address: 
PO Box 111 Bringelly 2556 
Delivery address: 975 The Northern Rd, Bringelly NSW 2556

Resources

The DPI has developed a number of resources to assist with testing. These include:

More information

For more information, contact the NSW Food Authority Helpline on 1300 552 406 or at food.contact@dpi.nsw.gov.au 

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