Cooked crustaceans

​​​Back to Tests applied to risk food

Reference CRU 03/2019

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

Cooked crustaceans that are chilled or frozen for human consumption are classified as risk food. Cooked crustaceans may be whole or in portions, peeled or unpeeled. This includes crab, crayfish, lobster, prawn or shrimp.

Food excluded from this testing  

  • raw crustaceans
  • dried crustaceans
  • crustaceans that require deep frying or cooking before consumption (the product is not ready-to-eat)
  • mixed food containing crustaceans as an ingredient; for example, frozen meals, soup and sauce
  • retorted—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).

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.

Cooked crustaceans that do not support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes

What are cooked crustaceans that do not support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes?

The department’s criteria for cooked crustaceans that do not support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes is cooked crustaceans that have one or more of the following parameters:

  • The cooked crustaceans have a refrigerated shelf life no greater than 5 days (from date of manufacture to the use-by date on the label).
  • The cooked crustaceans are frozen and will be consumed within 5 days of thawing.

Imported Food Inspection Scheme (IFIS) importer declarations

Importers and brokers have the option to lodge a voluntary IFIS Importer declaration for cooked crustaceans that do not support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes. This declaration enables importers to provide information on why the cooked crustaceans do not support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes.

If the importer or broker lodges a voluntary IFIS importer declaration, they declare that the cooked crustaceans do not support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes, and the cooked crustaceans will be analysed and assessed against the standard of no more than 100 colony forming units of Listeria monocytogenes per gram.

Cooked crustaceans lodged without an IFIS importer declaration will be analysed for Listeria monocytogenes and assessed against the standard of ‘not detected’ in five 25 grams sample units, the standard for ready to eat food in which the growth of Listeria monocytogenes can occur.  

The ‘IFIS importer declaration for cooked crustaceans that do not support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes’ and more information on lodging importer declarations and documentation for imported food is available on the Lodging declarations and documentation for imported food webpage.

The department expects that importers maintain records of the information used to complete an IFIS Importer declaration. The department may require importers to present this information upon request when conducting compliance or verification activities.

The department applies inspection and analysis to monitor cooked crustaceans for the presence of Listeria monocytogenes at the surveillance rate of five per cent of consignments.

Hazard testing

Table 1 shows risk food tests applied to imported cooked crustaceans and permitted results.

Table 1 Hazard, test applied and permitted result
HazardTest appliedPermitted result
MicroorganismsCoagulase-positive staphylococci/gn = 5, c = 2, m = 102, M = 103
SalmonellaNot detected1 in any 25 g sample unit
Standard plate count (SPC)/gn = 5, c = 2, m = 105, M = 106
Listeria monocytogenes
Note: Applies if valid IFIS Importer declaration has been lodged
n = 5, c = 0, m = 100 cfu/g
Listeria monocytogenes
Note: Applies if valid IFIS Importer declaration has not been lodged
Not detected1 in any 25 g sample unit
Vibrio cholerae
Note: applies to prawns and shrimp only
Not detected1 in any 25 g sample unit
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)

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.
M = the level which when exceeded (i.e. the level is greater than M) in one or more samples would cause the lot to be rejected.

1 The department allows appointed analysts to composite the five RTE crustacean sample units when the ‘not detected’ standard applies. This may result in reduced testing costs for importers.

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.

Version history

Date

Amendment details

25/03/2019CRU 03/2019Added tests for Listeria monocytogenes

16/11/2018

CRU 11/2018

Consolidates risk food webpage for cooked prawns and shrimp

1/5/2014

CRU 05/2014

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

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Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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