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Standards for exotic meat, wild game coming soon to Australia and New Zealand

By Ankush Chibber , 27-Mar-2012

New regulation in Australia and New Zealand may see more exotic meats on the two countries’ dining tables, much to the joy of local food processors.

On March 26, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) called for submissions on a proposal looking at possible food safety measures for producers and processors of minor meat species and wild game.

Existing regulation means it is not feasible for companies to produce these meats commercially. 

CEO of FSANZ, Steve McCutcheon, said that these standards would set out obligations for primary producers and processors at critical points in the food chain.  

Lorraine Belanger, communications manager at FSANZ, told FoodNavigator-Asia that the proposal covered exotic species such as emu, ostrich, crocodile, rabbit, deer, camel and buffalo.  "Wild game in the assessment includes wild boar, mutton birds, wallaby and kangaroo.”

A safer supply chain

The ministers responsible for food regulation in Australia asked FSANZ in 2002 to consider food safety throughout all parts of the food supply chain for all industry sectors, she added.

“We’ve finished work on a number of standards and we’ve reached the point where we are now looking at meat. We’ve also got work underway on a standard for the more common farmed species –but we needed to take a look at minor species as well,” said Belanger.

She said the regulatory approach proposed provides a single, national set of requirements for all meats whether it is beef, lamb and chicken or wild game.

The approach considers managing food safety at points in the food chain where hazards are introduced, rather than relying on solving a problem at the end of the process, she added.

FSANZ said it intends to notify the Ministerial Council of its findings by April 2013. The closing date for submissions on the proposal is 21 May 2012.

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