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Australian Meat Safety

The Australian Red Meat industry has developed a series of integrated quality assurance programs that reinforce the industry's commitment to quality, safety and integrity.

Australia's Meat safety programs identify food safety and quality assurance as top priorities, and embrace Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and the principles of ISO 9002 certification. Both these systems are internationally accepted. Australia is free of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathies (BSE or "Mad Cow Disease"), which affects cattle and all Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) including Scrapie which affects sheep. Quarantine and animal health controls are strictly enforced to maintain this favorable status.

Quality assurance and meat safety begins with Cattlecare and Flockcare, farm-based quality assurance programs that follow HACCP principles to avoid contamination problems. Accredited sheep producers must monitor and record the use of chemicals, ensure stock identification and adhere to traceback procedures.

All Australian processing plants are required to operate under an Australian standard that mandates the use of HACCP in their meat safety programs. Export processing plants must adhere to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Processing facilities have HACCP-based programs that fully comply with USDA’s regulations, including those for pathogen reduction, sanitation and food safety. These are audited by the Australian Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS).

All Australian Red Meat is clearly labeled for product traceback. Vital information, such as the Australian health inspection stamp, processor establishment numbers and date of packaging, is identified on all boxes. Traceback systems allow communication through the chain both ways—identifying problems and rewarding excellence.

The Australian Department of Agriculture has a National Residue Survey which ensures product is tested for pesticides, chemical residues, antibiotics and hormonal growth promotants, as well as a microbiological testing program that ensures product meets FSIS, Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Secretaria de Agricultura, Ganaderia, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentacion (SAGARPA) meat safety pathogen requirements.

Upon arrival in North America, product is re-inspected by FSIS in the United States, the CFIA in Canada and SAGARPA in Mexico to confirm that all products meet the required standards. This is verified and supported by agreed Australian documentation (health certificates).

The Australian Red Meat industry has earned an excellent reputation worldwide because of its commitment to producing safe, wholesome, consistent-quality products that meet customer specifications and consumer requirements.

For the latest safety news and information from the Australian Red Meat industry, visit safemeat.com.au.

Australian Beef or Sheepmeat Safety Brochures

To download a PDF file of our latest Australian Beef Safety Brochure or Australian Sheepmeat Safety Brochure or to request printed copies, please visit our publications page.