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Ongoing project

Extension and adoption for food safety, quality and risk management (MU20000)

Key research provider: Australian Mushroom Growers’ Association

What's it all about?

This investment is delivering targeted information on food safety, quality and risk management to the mushroom industry through a range of proactive channels. By providing access to extensive information and support, this project will assist all mushroom supply chain businesses and their staff to adopt best practice in their businesses.

An online knowledge hub will be established that hosts practical information on food safety and quality areas such as State and Federal legislation, compliance systems, retailer requirements, and research findings on mushroom food safety. This information will be further disseminated through communications activities such as articles in the mushroom industry journal and e-newsletter, presentations at regional workshops, on-farming training, and webinars.

The project team will provide technical industry support through activities such as representation on the AMSAFE committee, coordination of the verification testing program, advice on all aspects of food safety system compliance, identification of research required to underpin critical limits, and on-call crisis support.

Over the past six months, there have been several activities completed to support food safety, quality and risk management for the mushroom industry. These include a webinar, two MushroomLink articles, new resources for the AMGA website, verification testing, and continual promotion of the testing and Safe Mushroom programs.
The ‘act and react’ service continues to regularly monitor and engage on specific issues, if and as they arise. Most notably, the potential issues and risks to the mushroom industry associated with imported enoki mushrooms.

The project team will continue to meet and seek industry insights into how to best improve uptake of both free programs, and continue to deliver on the Knowledge and Communication Hub components of the project.

The project team continue to build foundations to underpin food safety, quality, and risk management initiatives for the Australian mushroom industry. The project team report progress on developing journal articles, further refinement of the knowledge and information hubs, communication on the basic food safety training program for mushroom farms and the re-launch of the AMGA verification testing program.

The ‘act and react’ service continues to regularly engage on business specific issues.

Direct communication with every mushroom producing business is planned to try and reach those team members who are directly focussed on food safety, quality, and risk management.

Despite some project activities being limited by recent COVID restrictions, The project team reports significant progress in a number of areas:

  • Further refinement of the knowledge and information hub
  • Development of a basic food safety training program for mushroom farms
  • Scripting of a video demonstrating the sampling process for testing
  • Re-booting of the AMGA testing program.

One important achievement has been the development of a simple food safety Code of Practice for non-certified mushroom farms, together with supporting forms and documents. The result is a code that does not impose a heavy burden, but rather encourages good business practice and raises food safety awareness.

Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Mushroom Fund