Allergens and food poisoning fears, is Australia’s food system as safe as the government’s reassurances?

Published Sep 28, 2021

Tridge summary

The Australian food system is touted to be one of the safest in the world, but continued reports on major safety issues such as allergens and microbial contaminations are raising questions over whether more needs to be done to protect consumers.

Original content

The Australian government has continually publicized its food supply as ‘reliable, safe and nutritious’​, and the results of its 26th​ Australian Total Diet Study – which, interestingly, only looked at persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as dioxins and polycholorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in this edition – appeared to confirm this. PCBs have been shown to be carcinogenic, whereas dioxins are also highly toxic compounds which can cause health issues such as cancer, immune system damage and hormone interference. “We looked at 33 foods typical of the Australian diet, taking 600 samples across all Australian states and territories [and tested these for POPs],”​ Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) said in a formal statement. “Our results show that while the selected chemicals are present in the environment, the levels are low and there are no food safety concerns for Australian consumers.”​ FSANZ Chair Steve McCutcheon added that this should serve as good news for local ...
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