Finfish which has been processed and is ready-to-eat

​​The requirements for ready-to-eat processed finfish will change on 2 November 2016. Refer to IFN 15-16 for information on these changes.

The changes will include fewer kinds of ready-to-eat processed finfish as risk foods and new lodgement questions to determine the Listeria monocytogenes standard to apply to the ready-to-eat processed finfish.

Before 2 November 2016 the requirements below apply to ready-to-eat processed finfish.

Ready to eat processed finfish

Back to Tests applied to risk food

Reference FSH 05/2014

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

Ready to eat processed finfish for human consumption are classified as a risk food. The fish may be whole or in portions. Processed includes:

  • cooked
  • smoked
  • smoke flavoured
  • dried
  • pickled
  • salted
  • fermented
  • vacuum packed.

Food excluded from this testing  

Examples of food that would not be considered a risk for this hazard include:

  • raw fish for sashimi or sushi
  • fish roe
  • caviar
  • shark fin
  • mixed food containing ready to eat processed finfish as an ingredient such as seafood extender and surimi
  • 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.

For more detail on sampling refer to Imported Food Noti​ce 03-11 Food sampling under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme.

Hazard testing

Table 1 shows risk food tests applied to imported ready to eat processed finfish and permitted results.

Table 1 Hazard, test applied and permitted result


Test applied

Permitted result


Listeria monocytogenes






Listeria monocytogenes/25 g





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.

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)

Test: Histamine may be an additional test. Refer to Tuna and mackerel and Tests applied to surveillance food.

Version history


Amendment details


FSH 05/2014

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