Food adulteration

Our food regulatory system is designed to respond quickly to food safety incidents.

This includes reports or evidence of food tampering or adulteration.


Recent reports have raised issues about the adulteration of honey.

Possible mislabelling of honey products for retail sale in Australia is being investigated by the ACCC.

If you are concerned that honey you purchased may be adulterated:

  • first contact the place of purchase
  • report it to your state or territory foods regulatory agency.

Australia’s Food Standards Code states that honey cannot be blended with other ingredients. This includes corn syrup or sugar beet syrup.

Food standards are enforced by:

  • state and territory agencies in the domestic supply chain
  • the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, for honey imports and some exports.

If we find adulteration in imported honey, we increase inspection of imports from that producer. This will continue until they establish a new history of compliance.

Imported honey must also meet biosecurity requirements. It must be free of pest and disease contaminates. Products that fail food safety or biosecurity inspections are re-exported or destroyed.

We regulate honey exports when the importing country requires an official government certificate.

We will only export certify foods that are acceptable for sale in Australia. False and misleading product labelling means the product does not meet this requirement.


We are implementing interim control measures for the export of fresh strawberries. This follows recent instances of tampering.
We are also delivering $350,000 of support funding to the berry industry to:

  • regain and retain Australian strawberry market share in key export markets
  • maintain or restore confidence in the industry and supply chain.

Media release: Help for our strawberry growers

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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