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Training guide for interpreting ESAM reports

The webinar and information on this page will help guide and assist anyone wanting to interpret their own establishment’s monthly ESAM reports. The webinar is broken into 4 short series, including introduction to the ESAM report, what the box plot is saying, and common trends to watch out for.

The National Microbiological Database (NMD), also known as the ESAM database, was established to help Australia meet market access requirements to the US. Export slaughter establishments are required to collect and analyse carcase samples for E. coli and Salmonella and carton samples from all species slaughtered. From 2014, ESAM data is now reported in the Product Hygiene Index (PHI) database, with the inclusion of data on E. coli and Salmonella, E. coli O157 and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STECs) each month. In the ESAM database, STECs refers to the ‘Big 6’ non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, O26, O45, O103, O121, O111 and O145.

The ESAM data provides useful information for benchmarking Australia’s performance and can be used in market access negotiations. Meat and Livestock Australia provide funding for a reporting system for the ESAM database to be developed and to give feedback to establishments on their consolidated ESAM results. SARDI Food Safety and Innovation now provides establishments with regular (monthly) reports so that they can compare their performance with that found nationally for the same reporting period.


1. Background and capability of ESAM reporting service


2. Key microbiological and statistical concepts relating to ESAM


3. Interpreting ESAM reports


4. Interpreting E. coli O157 and STEC reports

For more information please contact:
Jessica Jolley (SARDI) - email Jessica
Long Huynh (MLA) - email Long