The chicken meat industry supports safe food handling right through the food supply chain.
Food Standards are set by Food Standards Australia New Zealand which is a statutory authority within the Australian government. The Primary Production and Processing Standard for Poultry Meat is part of a series of national food safety standards. In addition the chicken meat industry complies with a range of Standards and Codes of Practice established by Governments and private schemes, aimed at ensuring the product is safe and produced in alignment with all the requirements for animal welfare and food safety.
With the exception of some foods such as sterilised foods in canned produce, all foods contain bacteria. Some of these bacteria are harmless and occur naturally as part of the normal microflora of the chicken gut. There are some strains however that can cause illness in humans such as salmonella and campylobacter.
Efforts to minimise these bacteria in the supply chain start at the breeding farms where the industry has concentrated on reducing the prevalence of these bacteria in breeding flocks to limit the possibility for their transmission from parent hens to their day old chicks via the eggshell of the hatching eggs. Hatchery hygiene is critical to prevent the possibility of contamination of day old chicks.
There are a range of biosecurity measures implemented on chicken broiler farms to reduce the risk of introducing foodborne pathogens. For example, water supplies are treated to kill bacteria in the drinking water.