MPI spent the past few months testing and tracing any possible spread of salmonella.

The Ministry for Primary Industries used the salmonella discovery to remind Kiwis of good food safety practices when preparing chicken at home. Photo / 123rfSalmonella has been found at an Auckland poultry farm but no contaminated eggs have reached consumers, the Ministry for Primary Industries said.
While no affected businesses or the farm itself were named, the agency used the discovery to remind Kiwis of good food safety practices when preparing chicken at home.
The bacteria was detected at the Auckland supplier of hatching eggs and day-old chicks through a New Zealand Food Safety audit and follow-up testing.
MPI’s director of food regulation, Paul Dansted, said the facility took several steps to prevent further infection, including sanitising affected sheds, culling potentially affected chickens and increasing testing.
“These actions, as well as our tracing work, and wider industry testing, have prevented any contaminated eggs from reaching consumers.
Product from the facility was traced to 64 farms which were all tested.
Two farms that returned positive results had to hold their products and undertake a number of actions before they could continue trading, Dansted said.
Results from two of the farms were expected in the next few days and the other 60 farms tested negative.
An additional four facilities that tested positive for the bacteria earlier had to cull their affected flocks and undergo sanitising.
Dansted said salmonella testing had been ramped up across the industry.
“People’s safety is our number one priority here. Our testing and tracing work over the past few months has been focused on ensuring the risk remains low, and to assist industry to eradicate the bacterium from commercial chicken flocks.”
Dansted said there had been an increase in human cases caused by the same strain of salmonella found in MPI’s investigation, which was being tracked with the Ministry of Health.
“The cause of the human cases is still being investigated. However, to reduce the possibility of getting ill through food, we’d like to remind people to … clean food preparation surfaces, cook raw chicken meat to an internal temperature of 75°C, and chill cooked chicken meat in the fridge.”
The bacteria is present in poultry industries in many countries and is managed through regulation.
It can cause outbreaks of food poisoning which can be serious.
Symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, fever, headache, nausea and vomiting.
“It can be serious in people with reduced immunity, older people, children, and pregnant women.”
Salmonella can also spread in ways outside of food, including contact with infected animals, material, or surfaces.
“We continue to monitor the situation with the Ministry of Health and are working closely with the poultry sector to ensure any risk is identified and dealt with.”