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Australia increases testing of seafood imports

Seafood imported into Australia will now be tested for a range of antibiotics, including flouroquinolones, quinolones and penicillins

August 1, 2007

Australia increases testing of seafood imports

Seafood imported into Australia will now be tested for a range of antibiotics, including flouroquinolones, quinolones and penicillins, under additional measures announced by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, today.

“Today’s decision follows a recent survey of antibiotic and pesticide residues in imported seafood conducted by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS),”  McGauran said.

“In a small number of samples, the survey detected residues of antibiotics not allowed in Australian seafood.

“While the residues detected were at low levels and did not represent a food safety issue, the survey showed that some imported seafood did not comply with Australia’s rigorous standards.

“As part of its high standards for food safety, AQIS regularly undertakes reviews of imported food. The survey and the additional testing requirements reflect Australia’s ongoing surveillance and highest standards of food safety.

“The additional testing will give consumers even greater confidence that imported seafood meets the high standards required of Australian seafood industries,” McGauran said.

Mr McGauran has also referred the results of the AQIS survey to Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for their technical advice, given both these organisations have expertise in the safety issues associated with the use of antibiotics in food production.

“Importantly, Australian consumers can continue to be confident in the safety of our food supply - be it domestically produced or imported,” McGauran concluded.

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