Premier defends salmon farmers after listeria deaths

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Listeria deaths rock Australia after country’s chief medical officer said investigations had indicated the infections were likely to have come from contaminated smoked salmon.

Tasmanian premier Will Hodgman said he has faith in the growing salmon farming industry, after three listeria cases – two of them deadly – were widely covered in the media.

On Wednesday, SalmonBusiness reported that Australia’s Chief Medical Officer pointed the finger at smoked salmon:

“Investigations have implicated smoked salmon as the likely source. This is a timely reminder for people to ensure that food is handled, prepared and stored safely and that those most at-risk of listeriosis avoid certain foods.”

7news reports that the Liberal Party of Australia’s Hodgman said that a review of processing facilities at all three companies by biosecurity staff had not detected any non-compliance issues or listeria.

“The information to date, it indicates a link to Tasmanian salmon,” Premier Will Hodgman said in a statement.”All relevant authorities are working through these matters and the investigation is ongoing at a national level.”

‘Our salmon industry is a very important one to our state, my government has faith in standards by which companies operate,’ he added. “I’m advised that the salmon companies have strong listeria management programs in place as well as extensive product testing programs.”

Tasmanian salmon farmers Tassal and Huon Aquaculture have both made public statements refuting any link between their facilities and listeria. It’s been reported that Petuna Aquaculture have also said they are compliant with food and safety standards.