Victoria Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh
Walsh Cracks It Over Egg Stamping Decision
Victor P Taffa
Victorian Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh have called on the Commonwealth to review new national standards requiring eggs to be individually stamped.
Mr. Walsh said the guidelines, forced through by Food Standards Australia New Zealand, had been driven by Queensland and the Commonwealth against the interests of Victorian egg producers and consumers.
“The Victorian Coalition Government believes these new regulations will impose unnecessary cost and red tape, threatening the viability of smaller producers.” Mr. Walsh said.
“To meet the standard, egg producers face an upfront cost of up to $30,000 to purchase and install an egg stamping machine, plus high ongoing maintenance and running costs.”
“This requirement is going to have an adverse effect on the profitability of food producers without achieving any meaningful gains.”
Mr. Walsh said the Coalition Government had written to the Commonwealth requesting a review of the standard which will be imposed on the industry in 18 months.
“The standard requires all eggs, including duck and quail eggs to be stamped with a ‘unique identifier’ from the farm they were produced.” Mr. Walsh said.
“The requirement is being imposed under the flawed belief it may provide greater traceability should someone become sick through a food-related illness.”
Mr. Walsh said the majority of food safety issues in Victoria were due to poor handling and hygiene in homes and food premises, particularly associated with the consumption of foods containing raw or undercooked eggs.
“These guidelines are illogical and are unlikely to provide better traceability than what already exists through sales records and package labelling.” Mr. Walsh said.
“Egg shells are thrown straight in the bin or compost and are rarely traceable by the time a food-related illness has been reported and an association with eggs has been established.”
Mr. Walsh said the Victorian Coalition Government was committed to eliminating unnecessary bureaucratic interference and reducing red tape on Victoria’s food and fibre producers to allow them to get on with the job of feeding our state.