Tighter regulation for Australian seed sprout producers

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 16th November 2011

A new primary production and processing standard for seed sprouts has been approved by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Board.

FSANZ said the objective of the standard is to reduce the incidence of food-borne illness associated with seed sprouts by introducing food regulatory measures for sprouts processors.

Measures in the standard include requirements for producers to identify potential hazards and implement control measures to address those hazards. Sprout producers must also have evidence to show that control measures have been implemented.

FSANZ Chief Executive Officer, Steve McCutcheon, said the states and territories would enforce the standard, which has an 18-month implementation period.

He said, “In recent years, outbreaks of food-borne illness both in Australia and overseas have been associated with eating seed sprouts. The cost to the Australian community from outbreaks in 2005 and 2006 has been estimated at A$2.1 million.”

Mr McCutcheon said the approval had been notified to the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council. Once FSANZ has notified the council, the council has 60 days to either ask FSANZ to review the application or inform FSANZ that it does not intend to request a review.