Media Statement

3 May 2020

Consumers can have confidence that Victorian meat is safe to eat.

PrimeSafe is the food safety regulator of Victoria’s meat and seafood industries. Its primary objective is the provision of safe, wholesome meat, poultry and seafood for all consumers.

PrimeSafe collaborates with the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE) that regulates the export of meat.

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is managing a COVID-19 outbreak linked with a Victorian meat processing facility. PrimeSafe is assisting DHHS to determine that food safety regulatory requirements have been met by the facility, and to understand supply chain connections to assist with staff tracing.

All meat processed at PrimeSafe licensed facilities must be fit for human consumption and produced in accordance with Australian Standards for food safety. This includes meat processed at the Victorian meat processing facility.

In accordance with advice from Food Standards Australia New Zealand there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted to people through food or packaging. Based on this information, consumers can have confidence that meat processed at the facility is safe to eat.

As usual, consumers should ensure that all meat is thoroughly cooked, especially minced meat and hamburgers. Also, frequent hand washing and sanitation of food contact surfaces during food processing and in the home is important for food safety and to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Information about food safety for consumers and general food businesses relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic is available on the DHHS website. PrimeSafe’s website has information for Victorian meat processing facilities, and the DAWE website provides information relevant to Australian agriculture and food exports.

Media enquiries: Susan McNair – phone: 0439 389 202