Tahini, halva, hummus, baba ghanouj and other food containing sesame

​​Sesame seeds and sesame seed products

Back to Tests applied to risk food

Reference SES 05/2014

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

Sesame seeds (broken and unbroken) for human consumption are classified as risk food. This risk food typically includes sesame seed based products such as:

  • tahini or sesame paste
  • sesame based halva/halwa/halawa
  • hommus/hummus
  • baba ghanouj/baba ghanouge
  • sesame flour or powder.

Food excluded from this testing  

  • sesame seed oil
  • bakery products where sesame seeds are used as a topping or garnish
  • 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.

For more detail on sampling refer to Imported Food Not​ice 03-11 Food sampling under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme.

Hazard testing

Table 1 shows risk food tests applied to imported sesame seeds and sesame seed products and permitted results.

Table 1 Hazard, test applied and permitted result


Test applied

Permitted result



Not detected 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)

Version history


Amendment details


SES 05/2014

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

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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