Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has called for submissions on a proposed primary production and processing standard for meat.

The region’s top regulatory body said the proposed standard provides a national “whole of chain” approach to food safety regulation of meat products in New Zealand and Australia.

“The standard recognises that existing state and territory laws already cover things such as animal feed and water, traceability and processing activities,” said FSANZ CEO Steve McCutcheon.

“What the proposed new standard will do is bring all these things under the one umbrella so that if there is a food incident, regulators will be better placed to investigate food safety matters through the entire meat supply chain.

“Having this ability provides the public and industry with assurance that the regulator can investigate, where appropriate, food safety matters at any point in the meat supply chain.”

The closing date for submissions is 3 December. If the changes are approved by the FSANZ and the relevant Ministers, the standard could come in effect by mid-July 2015.