13 November 2023
In 2021, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry engaged the CSIRO to produce a report on the biosecurity risks associated with avian influenza viruses and avian orthoavulavirus-1 (also known as Newcastle disease) in relation to egg powders. The report examined the scientific literature on these viruses with regards to survival in egg powders, inactivation of the viruses in egg powders and other media, and other factors involved in the production of egg powders that may mitigate biosecurity risk. The report also includes reference to new and relevant peer-reviewed scientific information, advice from scientific experts, and relevant industry practices. This information allowed the department to conduct a policy review of the Australian import conditions for whole egg, egg yolk and egg white powder.
All comments on the draft report for this policy review have been considered in finalising the report. The final report and the department’s response to stakeholder comments on the draft report are available on our website.
The final report recommends amending the existing import conditions to include the following heat treatment requirements as alternative options to the existing heat treatment requirements:
Whole egg and egg yolk powder conditions:
- Require heat treatment of the product by pasteurisation of liquid whole egg and egg yolk for a minimum of 65°C for 6 minutes.
Egg white powder conditions:
- Require heat treatment of the product after spray-drying by ‘hot-boxing’ for a minimum of 65°C for 5 days.
The recommendations will be implemented after mid November 2023. Full details of the import conditions for whole egg, egg yolk and egg white powder will be available on the department’s Biosecurity Import Conditions database (BICON). All existing import permits remain valid, and importers may contact the department to request a permit variation if desired.
To receive information and updates on biosecurity risk analyses subscribe to Biosecurity Risk Analysis Animal on the department’s website. Subscribers will receive biosecurity advice notices and other notifications about animal biosecurity policy.
Dr Peter Finnin