Issue 50 - Update on Salmonella Enteritidis in NSW
NSW Department of Primary Industries update on Salmonella Enteritidis in NSW
Prior to September 2018, Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) had not been detected in commercial egg laying poultry flocks in NSW. Because of the potential impact that SE could have on the poultry industries and public health if it were to become widespread in Australia, SE is a notifiable disease under NSW legislation (Schedule 1 of the Biosecurity Regulation 2017).
When human cases of SE are detected in Australia, they are usually associated with recent overseas travel. Most cases are thought to be acquired from travelling to countries where SE is endemic. However, since May 2018, NSW Health has been investigating cases of locally acquired SE. The affected people had no history of overseas travel or other potential risk exposures, so investigations were undertaken to determine whether their infections had been acquired locally.
Some of the cases of human illness were able to be traced back to commercial poultry egg farms in NSW, with a small number of commercial poultry egg properties identified as infected. For up-to-date information on the outbreak please see the NSW DPI Salmonella Enteritidis website.
The approach taken by NSW DPI to manage infected properties in NSW has remained consistent with the principles outlined in the industry SE response plan developed on behalf of Australian Eggs by Dr Peter Scott: https://www.australianeggs.org.au/what-we-do/leading-research/salmonella-enteridis-response-plan/
SE-infected properties in NSW are being managed through the use of one or more Individual Biosecurity Directions (IBDs); a legislative tool issued to property owners/managers by authorised officers under the Biosecurity Act 2015. The IBDs issued during the current SE outbreak contain directions relating to movement controls and decontamination.
Under the Food Act 2003, some SE-infected premises in NSW have had prohibition orders placed on their operations, have been issued with improvement notices and have conducted voluntary product recalls. Product recalls, advisories and consumer information are published on the NSW Food Authority website: http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/news and http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/foodsafetyandyou/special-care-foods/eggs-enjoy-safely .
Infectious disease alerts are also published on the NSW Health website:
NSW has strong systems in place at all points along the food supply chain, from paddock to plate and since 2014 has reduced the rates of illness caused by Salmonella in humans by 22%. These same measures are helping to manage the risk of SE.
The current management approach to the SE outbreak in NSW ensures that infected properties meet certain requirements before resuming commercial egg production, including surveillance and compliance checks.
Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) has been carried out on samples of SE from each of the infected properties in NSW and the one infected property in VIC. The WGS for samples of SE from all of the infected properties is identical, and matches to samples taken from human cases of gastroenteritis caused by SE in NSW.
Several resources have been developed since September 2018 and have been made available to assist producers in protecting their poultry farms from SE. These include:
a. NSW DPI Primefact about SE
b. NSW DPI “Prevent the Spread of Salmonella Enteritidis”
c. NSW DPI “Rodent control and Salmonella Enteritidis”
The National Salmonella Enteritidis Monitoring and Accreditation Program (NSEMAP) is available to all commercial egg producers in Australia and is administered by NSW DPI. Further information on the NSEMAP is available from: https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/animals-and-livestock/poultry-and-birds/health-disease/national-salmonella-enteritidis-monitoring-and-accreditation-program