New egg traceability tool to improve food safety in Australia

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Adam PoulsenCountryman
A new browser-based traceability tool is set to help Australian egg farmers trace their eggs along the supply chain.
Camera IconA new browser-based traceability tool is set to help Australian egg farmers trace their eggs along the supply chain. Credit: Linda Vostrovska/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Australian egg farmers can now trace their eggs from point of purchase to the date and location they were laid with the launch of an online traceability tool aimed at improving food safety.

EggTrace is a free, browser-based tool enabling every farm to capture traceability information digitally and store important records in one place.

It allows egg farmers to quickly and efficiently identify any quality or health issues to ensure a safer, more reliable egg supply chain.

EggTrace was developed by Australian Eggs — a member-owned, not-for-profit research and development and marketing group — and funded by a Federal Government grant project to drive improved food safety and security across the agriculture sector.

Australian Eggs managing director Rowan McMonnies said improved traceability coverage would also make the egg industry more resilient.

“Australians consume about 17.3 million eggs a day, so if the quality or safety of our eggs is under threat, it would have major implications to our national food supply,” he said.

“EggTrace … (provides) farmers with the insights they need to isolate, neutralise and rectify any issue on-farm before it causes significant food supply issues, and is linked to the production type and best before date.

“As the global trend towards transparency and traceability in the food chain accelerates, traceability has become even more important in ensuring that we have the trust and confidence of Australians.”

A survey of 5981 Australians commissioned by Eggs Australia last year found 66.5 per cent were concerned about the nation’s food security.

Some 69.1 per cent preferred to buy from retailers that required eggs to be traceable back to the farm, while 86.8 per cent agreed traceability was important in ensuring food safety.

Most large egg producers already have vigorous traceability systems in place, according to Eggs Australia.

But smaller producers have reported encountering technical and financial barriers that prevented traceability from extending beyond the mandatory stamping of eggs.

“Australian Eggs is breaking down the remaining barriers to broader traceability coverage by putting resources in the hands of farmers to help them trace the movements of their eggs,” Mr McMonnies said.

Visit eggtrace.australianeggs.org.au.

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