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US food poisoning: no need for local concern



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" - E W S• R EL E A SE

PIE93/11GR 27 January 1993

US FOOD POISONING - NO NEED FOR LOCAL CONCERN

Reports today from the United States about a food poisoning outbreak are no cause for alarm in Australia, the Minister for Resources, Alan Griffiths, said today.

The outbreak, apparently caused by the bacterium, E.coli 0157:H7, has been linked to hamburgers from a fast food chain.

Some reports have suggested some of the meat contained in the hamburger patties may have come from Australia, but there is no evidence that the Australian meat was the source of the contamination.

"Surveys of Australian meat, for both the domestic and export markets, have so far failed to find evidence of this particular bacterium.

"The reports state that the American beef patty manufacturer blended lean beef from Australia with two local fatty meats. Given the scientific evidence, it has initially been concluded that insufficient cooking was the primary cause of the outbreak."

"On available evidence, the E.coli bacterium is not a problem in Australian . meat", Mr Griffiths said.

"Australian meat is clean and healthy and this Government has worked hard to keep it that way.

"Australians can be sure that the meat they are eating is safe and wholesome, and the quality of our export product is world class", Mr Griffiths said.

-------------- COMMONWEALTH

Further information: I PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY

MICAH

Minister's Office: Kristen Barry, Ph: (06) 277 7480 AQIS: Peter Miller, Ph: (06) 272 5864

Parliament House Phone: (06) 277 7480

Canberra ACT 2600 Fax: (06) 273 4154