Meat Notice 2020-06 – Guideline for the application of the Refrigeration Index to refrigeration of meat and meat products

30 October 2020


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Meat Notice 2020-06 - Guideline for the application of the Refrigeration Index to refrigeration of meat and meat products PDF PDF Icon 3 218 KB
Attachment - Guideline for the Application of the Refrigeration Index to Refrigeration of Meat and Meat Products PDF PDF Icon 16 387 KB

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Online version

NSFS reference: 9.1

Issue date: 30 October 2020

Date of effect: Immediate

Review date: October 2022

Contact officers:

Jason Ollington
National Veterinary Technical Manger
Export Meat Program
03 8308 5029

Adam Balcerak
Export Meat Program
02 6272 4955


This notice provides export registered establishments with a guideline for the application of the Refrigeration Index for the refrigeration of meat and meat products.


This notice applies to export registered meat establishments.


The outcome of refrigeration required by the Australian Standard for the Hygienic Production and Transportation of Meat and Meat products for Human Consumption (AS 4696) is that chilling and freezing of meat maintains and does not jeopardise its wholesomeness.

The Export Control (Meat and Meat Products) Orders 2005 requires the control measures for refrigeration applied to meat and meat products to achieve the refrigeration index criteria.

A guideline for the application of the Refrigeration Index at export registered meat establishments has been developed to assist establishments in demonstrating compliance with these requirements. The guideline also includes information relating to the use of the Refrigeration Index in product disposition decisions when there has been a refrigeration breakdown.

The guideline is provided as an attachment to this notice.


Establishment management must:

  1. review and amend (where required) their approved arrangement to ensure it aligns with the Refrigeration Index verification and validation procedures detailed in the guideline.
  2. submit any approved arrangement amendments to the department for approval.

Departmental on-plant officers will:

  1. provide establishment management with a copy of this meat notice as soon as possible.
  2. verify the establishment responsibilities and actions of this meat notice (as relevant) have been included in the occupier’s arrangement.
  3. verify the establishment complies with the requirements of this notice.

Area Technical Managers will:

  1. review the occupier’s approved arrangement amendments.
  2. approve or not approve the arrangement as per their findings.
  3. verify through audits the occupier compliance/non-compliance with relevant export legislation, importing country requirements and Australian standards.


The guideline provides procedures for the application of the Refrigeration Index. Specifically the guideline provides guidance around how to use the Refrigeration Index to validate new refrigeration processes prior to approval by the department. It also
details the circumstances when a refrigeration process must be re-validated in response to changes to the refrigeration process. The guideline also provides procedures for the ongoing verification of refrigeration processes through the use of the Refrigeration

The validation and verification procedures detailed in the guideline are required to be included in approved arrangements and implemented by establishments.

Within the guideline there is information regarding the use of Refrigeration Index for product disposition purposes when there is a refrigeration breakdown. Establishments are encouraged to familiarise themselves with this information and consider including
this information in their approved arrangements.

Adam Balcerak
Export Meat Program

Last reviewed: 30 October 2020
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