​​​​The requirements for fish and histamine analysis will change on 4 January 2017. Refer to IFN 21-2016 for information on these changes.

These changes will include a new lodgement question and changes to the kinds of fish and fish products that will be inspected and analysed for histamine.

The requirements on this web page apply to consignments lodged before 4 January 2017.

Tuna and mackerel

Back to Tests applied to risk food

Reference SCM 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

Tuna and mackerel products for human consumption are classified as risk food. The fish may be whole, fillets or in portions. This includes tuna and mackerel that are:

  • raw (fresh, chilled or frozen)
  • processed (cooked, smoked and pickled)
  • retorted (with or without additives such as onion, tomato, oil, salt, chilli flavourings or garnishes)—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).

Food excluded from this testing  

  • mixed food containing tuna or mackerel as an ingredient; for example, TV dinner (such as tuna mornay) and frozen meals.

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 Notice 0​3-11 Food sampling under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme.

Hazard testing

Table 1 shows risk food tests applied to imported tuna and mackerel and permitted results.

Table 1 Hazard, test applied and permitted result


Test applied

Permitted result



Maximum level 200 mg/kg

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: Listeriamonocytogenes may be an additional test. Refer to Ready to eat finfish

Version history


Amendment details


SCM 05/2014

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