A rural farmer has expressed concern over the safety of ‘backyard eggs’ as people continue sell their own poultry eggs despite safe food regulations.
A website allowing people to sell their own produce such as fruit, vegetables and poultry eggs has a local farmer furious about the risk involved.
Food Forage, a website allowing ‘local suppliers from all walks of life sell their produce’ has received negative attention from a farmer who states ‘anyone with a backyard can sell their own food’.
Although the website has clear terms and conditions, users continue to use the website despite rules and regulations.
Nadra Eggs Director Paula McLucas says it is ridiculous websites like Food Forage exists whilst farmers struggle under heavy workplace safety regulations.
“It all comes down to the cost of production.
“Whilst we have an accredited workplace and we meet health and safety procedures…
“We have people like Tom, Dick or Harry selling their own eggs without any consequences and they don’t have to pay any additional costs like farmers do,” she says.
Mrs McLucas says farms are forced to undergo strenuous workplace safety checks each month, which costs more than $500 for each check up.
“It’s just a matter of principle and also to add it is illegal under Queensland’s Health and Safety regulations,” she says.
Paula says Farms must undergo a whole cleaning process of the egg before it sells to the public, the video above explains that process.
A statement from Queensland Safe Food says all eggs sold to the public need a product identification tag for traceability.
“As part of a food safety program, suppliers must be able to identify their individual product.
“Each egg product requires a unique mark, or ID, that can be stamped on every egg you produce.
“This means there is no confusion about where the egg originated, and can help with trace back should a food incident arise,” says Queensland Safe Food.
According to a study by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, eggs from small flocks of chickens are more likely to be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis.
The research done last year in Pennsylvania, took more than six months to complete.
Researchers collected and tested more than 6,000 eggs from 200 selling points across the state.
Salmonella Enteritidis is a leading foodborne pathogen in the US, with many outbreaks in humans traced back to the shell of eggs.
Someone usually infected with the bacterium will suffer with abdominal cramps, fevers and diarrhoea for up to 72 hours after consuming a contaminated food or beverage.
The study is thought to be controversial as it defies ‘conventional’ wisdom that eggs from backyard poultry and smaller enterprises are safer to eat than “commercially produced” eggs.
Backyard Egg Advocate Madeline Ward says she does not think of the health and safety risks associated with backyard poultry eggs.
“I generally believe backyard eggs are so much better for you, as well as the environment as you know how the chooks are getting looked after, and where the eggs are being laid.
“I’ll always buy backyard eggs, instead of in the supermarket. It’s just more ethical that way,” she says.
Find more information about Salmonella enteritidis from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160919132423.htm