Cooked crustaceans

​Back to Tests applied to risk food

Reference CRU 11/2018

All imported food must comply with Australia’s biosecurity import conditions.

Check the Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON) to determine if the food you intend to import requires an import permit or a treatment or if it must meet any other conditions. All biosecurity requirements must be met before Imported Food Inspection Scheme requirements apply.

Imported Food Inspection Scheme risk food

Cooked crustaceans that are chilled or frozen for human consumption are classified as risk food. Cooked crustaceans may be whole or in portions, peeled or unpeeled. This includes crab, crayfish, lobster, prawn or shrimp.

Food excluded from this testing  

  • raw crustaceans
  • dried crustaceans
  • crustaceans that require deep frying or cooking before consumption (the product is not ready-to-eat)
  • mixed food containing crustaceans as an ingredient; for example, frozen meals, soup and sauce
  • retorted—the final product is in a hermetically sealed (airtight) container and has been heat treated (retorted) within this container so that the final product is shelf stable (not requiring refrigeration).

Risk food sampling

When goods are referred for inspection and testing an authorised officer:

  • will take samples for each product type
  • will take five sample units per lot for analysis.

Hazard testing

Table 1 shows risk food tests applied to imported cooked crustaceans and permitted results.

Table 1 Hazard, test applied and permitted result
HazardTest appliedPermitted result
MicroorganismsCoagulase-positive staphylococci, Salmonella, Standard plate count (SPC)TestncmM
Coagulase-positive staphylococci/g52102103
Salmonella/25 g500 
SPC/g5210 5106
n = the minimum number of sample units which must be examined from a lot of food
c = the maximum allowable number of defective sample units i.e. that have counts between ‘m’ and ‘M’
m = the acceptable microbiological level in a sample unit
M = the level which when exceeded (i.e. the level is greater than M) in one or more samples would cause the lot to be rejected

Vibrio cholerae
Note: applies to prawns and shrimp only

Not detected in any 25 g sample unit

Label and composition assessment

Food Standards Code chapters 1 and 2

Visual assessment

Imported Food Control Act 1992 section 3(2)(a)(vii) and 3(2)(b)

Imports from New Zealand

Imports of this food from New Zealand will not be inspected or analysed under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme. This is because Australia and New Zealand have agreed to mutual recognition for the food safety controls for this food.

Version history


Amendment details


CRU 11/2018

Consolidates risk food webpage for cooked prawns and shrimp


CRU 05/2014

Replaces Imported Food Notice 09/12 Tests applied to risk category foods