Project number: 2007-700
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $54,697.69
Principal Investigator: Tom Madigan
Organisation: SARDI Food Safety and Innovation
Project start/end date: 27 Feb 2008 - 30 Mar 2009


A benefit/cost analysis is attached.

The potential impacts of the project relate to both product food safety and quality.

Food safety:
There is a need for acquiring time/temperature data for critical process steps that impact on the ability of foodborne pathogens to grow, notably Vibrio spp.. In a recent discussion paper by Codex Alimentarius (CX/FH 05/37/13), the impacts of seafood related illnesses were summarised, ‘The economic effects of illnesses reverberate throughout the seafood supply industry causing loss of consumer confidence and concomitant loss of sales. Consequently, a slowing effect for seafood sales overall occurs, which can represent a short-term serious economic loss. In general, the various reports of seafood related illnesses also appear to combine to affect the entire seafood supply in a cumulative fashion, which can lead to long term depressed sales’. The impact of this work will be a decreased risk of economic loss due to any risk of associated illness and also target further/ follow on research for the development of a predictive tool to better manage food safety risks.

Product quality:
There is a need to evaluate the effectiveness of cool chain management across major supply chains. Successful development of a temperature profile, which is underpinned by microbiological data will provide a practical assessment of the efficacy of critical cool chain processes and steps. The impact of this work will be the identification of potential interventions of critical cool chain steps that can be undertaken to achieve maximum product quality. Based on recent product losses, this project will meet an immediate industry need and also underpin supply of product of consistent quality.


1. Evaluate Australian oyster cool chain processes to underpin food safety and optimise commercial quality
2. Identify future research, investment, education and training priorities to implement best practice time temperature regimes for the Australian oyster industry
3. Provide input to the development of an Australian Oyster Refrigeration Index to assist industry and regulators to optimize time temperature regimes that assure food safety.

Final report

ISBN: 978-1-921399-33-6
Author: Thomas Madigan
Final Report • 2009-06-23


The majority of Australian oyster production occurs in New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia. New South Wales industry produces both the Sydney Rock Oyster and the Pacific Oyster. The Tasmanian and South Australian industries produce the Pacific Oyster.

Temperature requirements in the Export Control (Fish & Fish Products) Orders 2005 were changed to enforce temperature requirements for export. The new requirements were lower than temperatures specified by the Australian Shellfish Quality Assurance Manual and the NSW state dispensation for Sydney Rock Oysters. Growers believed that the new AQIS requirement of 5°C was too low for the storage of live product and they would struggle to produce a quality product.

A Hazard Identification, undertaken as part of SIDF 2007-406, identified that the new requirements were aimed at reducing the post-harvest growth of naturally occurring pathogenic bacteria from the Genus Vibrio. That project recommended that industry required a two-staged approach to this problem. Firstly to profile current Australian oyster supply-chains to establish what temperature regimes are being implemented.

Keywords:  oysters, refrigerated transport, storage temperature

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