Biosecurity Advice 2015/14 - Biosecurity policy for importation of precooked (microwave) bacon

21 September 2015

This Biosecurity Advice informs stakeholders that the Department of Agriculture has determined that processing of precooked (microwave) bacon within specific parameters provides an equivalent level of biosecurity risk management to the recommendations of the Generic import risk analysis (IRA) for pig meat: final import risk analysis report (February 2004). This will be taken into account by decision makers when considering import permit applications for precooked (microwave) bacon from approved countries in accordance with the Quarantine Act 1908 and Quarantine Proclamation 1998 as amended, effective from 21 September 2015.

The Department of Agriculture may decide to review or amend an import policy if alternative risk management measures demonstrate an equivalent level of biosecurity protection or if new, peer-reviewed scientific information becomes available.

The department has determined that processing of precooked (microwave) bacon within specific parameters can provide an equivalent level of biosecurity risk management to the recommendations of the Generic import risk analysis (IRA) for pig meat: final import risk analysis report (February 2004). Heat treatment of pig meat is a risk management measure that helps to address a number of diseases of biosecurity concern, including porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. The manufacturing process for precooked (microwave) bacon includes an initial partial cook and subsequent microwave heating process.

The determination takes into account current scientific information and the recommendations of the Generic import risk analysis (IRA) for pig meat: final import risk analysis report (February 2004). In particular, a porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome inactivation study on microwave heated bacon, published in January 2015, was reviewed: Mills ER, Barry RM, Myers SE, Mills EW (2015) Deactivation of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus during microwave heating of bacon. Journal of Veterinary Science and Technology 6: 213. doi:10.4172/2157-7579.1000213.

Imports of precooked (microwave) bacon from countries approved to export cooked pig meat to Australia will be able to commence under specific import conditions. Precooked (microwave) bacon will need to comply with requirements that have been assessed as equivalent to the applicable import conditions for cooked pig meat from approved countries, with variations to the required cooking process parameters.

 

Dr Andrew Cupit
Assistant Secretary
Animal Biosecurity

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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