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Pathogen and antimicrobial resistance in ovine faeces at slaughter

Project start date: 30 September 2016
Project end date: 30 April 2019
Publication date: 10 September 2019
Project status: Completed
Livestock species: Sheep, Lamb
Relevant regions: National
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Australia is the largest global exporter of sheepmeat, with increased demand from customers in China and the US helping to bolster export volumes in recent years. Australia's strong food safety regulations and reputation for producing clean, green and safe sheepmeat are major factors underpinning the growth in demand for Australian sheepmeat products.

Food safety continues to be a major consideration for international customers and the supply of exports into world markets depends on industries capacity to maintain its reputation as a supplier of safe products. The greatest risk to the safe production and processing of sheepmeat comes from bacteria. Thus, assessing sheep production systems for bacteria that pose a risk to humans, such as pathogenic Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (pathogenic STEC) and antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, is one way in which Australia can understand potential risks to human health.

This study is designed to assist the Australian sheepmeat industry to improve the value of its commodities by objectively defining food safety risks present in the processing stage of sheepmeat production, with a specific focus on pathogenic STEC and antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.

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Primary researcher: CSIRO