Food that contains beef or beef products as an ingredient

​Beef and beef products

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Reference BEF 05/2014

All imported beef and beef products for human consumption imported into Australia must comply with Australia’s biosecurity and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) food safety requirements.

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

Beef and beef products for human consumption are classified as risk food. Beef includes meat, bone and offal of cattle, buffalo and bison. A beef product is a food prepared from or containing beef.

Food excluded from this testing  

  • milk
  • dairy products
  • gelatine and collagen derived from bovine skins and hides
  • edible bovine fats and bovine tallows included as a minor ingredient (less than 30 per cent) of a processed product.

Under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme, bone derived gelatine and collagen (including sausage casings) are not targeted as risk food. These products can only be sourced from countries that have had their BSE food safety risk assessed and a satisfactory BSE risk status assigned by Food Standards Australia New Zealand. A compliant government certificate must accompany the import and be presented to the department upon request.

Risk food sampling

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

  • will request and assess certificate compliance
  • may inspect the goods to verify that they match certificate details and the broker’s full import declaration information.

Hazard testing

Table 1 shows risk food tests applied to imported beef and beef products and permitted results.

Table 1 Hazard test applied and permitted result


Test applied

Permitted result

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)

National competent authority certificate from a country permitted to trade and includes mandatory declaration.

Product accompanied by necessary documentation and compliant with ‘Bovine spongiform encephalopathy food safety requirements for imported beef and beef products for human consumption’.

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)

Version history


Amendment details


BEF 05/2014

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