All biosecurity requirements must be met before Imported Food Inspection Scheme requirements apply.
Check our Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON) for biosecurity import conditions.
Finfish that is ready-to-eat is a risk food
This includes finfish that is cooked, cured or smoked and is ready-to-eat.
- Ready-to-eat finfish that is dried, pickled, salted or fermented.
- Ready-to-eat finfish that are retorted and shelf stable.
- Food from New Zealand.
When lodging a Full Import Declaration (FID), use the correct ICS document code and certificate number for the food.
Community Protection (CP) question
You will need to answer this CP question when lodging your full import declaration:
IFIS: Are the goods cooked, cured or smoked finfish that require refrigeration (frozen or chilled) and do not require further cooking before consumption?
Inspection and testing
We refer consignments of finfish that is ready-to-eat for analytical testing. During inspection, we will also conduct a visual and label assessment.
Additional requirements apply to specific seafood. See the webpages for:
Table 1 shows the tests that will be applied and permitted results for each food type.
Table 1: Test applied and permitted result
|Test applied||Permitted result|
|n=5, c=0, m=not detected in 25 g|
n = the number of samples to be analysed from a lot of food.
c = the maximum number of sample units that can be greater than ‘m’.
m = the acceptable microbiological level in a sample unit.
Food safety risks
Food Standard Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has given us advice about the risk of processed ready-to-eat finfish. These products present a potential medium or high risk to public health and safety for Listeria monocytogenes.
Voluntary foreign government certification arrangements
We have a voluntary certification arrangement in place with Canada and Thailand for finfish that is ready-to-eat.
Consignments of these foods from Canada and Thailand with a recognised government certificate have a reduced rate of inspection and testing.
|Type of information||To include|
|National competent authority:||Canadian Food Inspection Agency|
|Recognised certificate title:||Certificate of Origin and Hygiene|
|ICS document code:||CI|
|Type of information||To include|
|National competent authority:||Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives – Department of Fisheries|
|Recognised certificate title:||Health Certificate for fishery and aquaculture products originating in Thailand|
|Additional requirement:||The certificate must identify that the food has been sourced from an establishment approved by the Department of Fisheries, Thailand.|
|ICS document code:||DOFHCTH|
Food is ready-to-eat if it is ordinarily consumed in the same state as that in which it is sold.
To avoid doubt, food is not ordinarily consumed in the same state as that in which it is sold if, before it is consumed, it requires further processing (such as cooking) to reduce any pathogenic microorganisms potentially present in the food to safe levels.
Animal products are retorted if they are heated in a hermetically sealed container to a minimum core temperature of 100°C, obtaining an F0 value of at least 2.8.
Goods are shelf stable if the:
- goods have been commercially manufactured
- goods have been packaged by the manufacturer
- goods are in that package
- package has not been opened or broken
- goods are able to be stored in the package at room or ambient temperature, and
- goods do not require refrigeration or freezing before the package is opened.
|Date||Reference number||Amendment details|
|12/04/2023||FSH 07/2018||Amend the webpage to update the link to the list of fish processing establishments approved by the Department of Fisheries, Thailand.|
|10/07/2018||FSH 07/2018||Updated to reflect introduction of a voluntary importer declaration|
|12/10/2016||FSH 10/2016||Updated requirements following risk advice provided to the department by FSANZ|
|1/5/2014||FSH 05/2014||Replaces Imported Food Notice 09/12 Tests applied to risk category foods|