Raw milk cheese (prior to 8 August 2018)

​​​​​​​​Back to Tests applied to risk food

Reference RMC 05-2016

Biosecurity requirements

All imported food must comply with Australia’s biosecurity import conditions. Check the Biosecurity Import Conditions database (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 the Imported Food Control Act 1992​ requirements apply.

Imported Food Inspection Scheme risk food

Raw milk cheese is cheese that has not undergone a heat treatment step during production. These are heat treatments such as pasteurisation, thermisation with additional measures or high temperature curd cook with additional measures. For the purposes of this description, the following definitions apply:

Pasteurisation means:

Milk or dairy products used to make cheese or cheese products have been pasteurised by

  1. heating to a temperature of no less than 72° Celsius (C) and retaining at such temperature for no less than 15 seconds; or
  2. heating, using any other time and temperature combination of equivalent or greater lethal effect on any pathogenic microorganisms in the milk or dairy product; or
  3. using any other process that provides an equivalent or greater lethal effect on any pathogenic microorganisms.

Thermisation with additional measures means:

Milk used to make cheese or cheese products has been processed by being held at a temperature of no less than 64.5°C for a period of no less than 16 seconds, and the cheese or cheese product stored at a temperature of no less than 7°C for a period of no less than 90 days from the date of processing.

High temperature curd cook with additional measures means:

Milk or dairy products used to make cheese or cheese products have been processed such that:

  1. the curd is heated to a temperature of no less than 48°C; and
  2. the cheese or cheese product has a moisture content of less than 39%, after being stored at a temperature of no less than 10°C for a period of no less than 120 days from the date of processing.

Recognised government certification

The following food safety requirements apply to this risk food:

  • raw milk cheese must not support the growth of pathogenic microorganisms and have no net increase in pathogen levels during the manufacture of the cheese
  • milk used in manufacture of raw milk cheese must be from animals free from Brucellosis and Bovine tuberculosis in accordance with OIE Animal Health Code
  • the primary production, transport and processing requirements must meet those in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code Standard 4.2.4.

To ensure these food safety requirements are met, imports of raw milk cheese must be covered by a recognised foreign government certificate. Imports will be subject to analysis as verification.

Only raw milk cheese identified below is permitted into Australia

Roquefort cheese from France

Competent authority: Ministère de l’Agriculture et de l’Alimentation

Recognised certificate title: Sanitary Certificate to Export Roquefort from France to Australia.

The certificate must be accompanied by E. coli test results that are specific to Roquefort cheese in the consignment.
Document code for the ICS: SCER

This certification is also subject to a government certification arrangement under section 18 of the Imported Food Control Act 1992.

Analysis

For Roquefort cheese, the samples will be analysed for:

  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Salmonella

Clearance

For Roquefort cheese, the risk food will be cleared where:

The food is covered by a consignment specific recognised government certificate.

The E. coli test results accompanying the certificate reports results
n = 5, c = 1, m = 10 cfu/g, M = 100cfu/g

Listeria monocytogenes
n = 5, c = 0, m = not detected in 25g,

Salmonella spp.
n = 5, c = 0, m = not detected in 25g

where:
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,
m = the acceptable microbiological level in a sample unit.

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.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) advice on imported food

FSANZ provides advice to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources on whether foods pose a medium or high risk to public health. The risk statements supporting the advice is published on the FSANZ website.

Version history

Date

Amendment details

9/05/2016

RMC 05-2016

New risk food

​​​​