Imported Food - Testing Guidelines

07 September 2020

Purpose of these guidelines​​

These guidelines provide information for appointed analysts on requirements for analysis of food sampled by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme (the scheme).

Scope of this document

This document will provide:

  • notice of the units of measurement that are required for results reported to the department
  • the minimum performance required of any testing methodology (limit of reporting)
  • assistance in meeting requirements for reporting ​the results of analysis.

The department does not specify the test methods to be used.

Appointed analysts must comply with the requirements specified in the ‘Conditions for appointment as an analyst’, including requirements for confirmatory testing: Food testing requirements for appointed analysts.

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Samples for testing

During an inspection, authorised officers take representative samples of food for analysis. The sample may consist of a single unit per lot or multiple sub-samples per lot. The samples are placed in a tamper evident bag at the inspection and identified with an ‘IF’ number and barcode. Documents matching the sample and barcode are supplied to the laboratory with the bag.

Compositing of sub-samples

Where compositing is permitted, as specified in the tables below, sub-samples of equal mass/volume are to be taken from each of the original samples submitted to form the composite sample for analysis.

Reporting to e–Results

Test Code / Analytes: use the test code or the analyte name in its entirety when reporting to e-Results. Do not use any other abbreviation or code.

Composite / No. of results: this indicates where compositing is permitted and the number of results that must be entered into e-Results for each analyte.

Units: enter results using the units specified in the tables below. Where required, results must be converted to the units specified prior to reporting.

Limit of reporting (LOR): for chemical testing, report any result less than the LOR as ‘<’ the specified figure.

For microbiological results examples of reporting are provided in the tables below. Note: the LOR is not necessarily the same as the food standard for the test.

Where authorised officers identify results not being reported in accordance with these requirements, analysts may be requested to re-submit the results. The non-compliance will also be noted and be considered in any review of the appointment of an analyst.

Food standards that apply to food under the scheme

The department applies a range of standards to food tested under the scheme. The types of food tested and the references to the standards are published as follows:

Failing results will trigger the requirements in the conditions of appointment for confirmatory testing to be undertaken before reporting the result to the department.

Chemical analysis

Adulteration of honey with C4 sugars
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
ADULTHNY Adulteration with C4 sugars Not required/
1 result
% Not applicable
Aflatoxin
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
AFLAT Aflatoxin Permitted/
1 result
mg/kg 0.004
Arsenic (total)
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
ARSENICT Arsenic (total) Permitted/
1 result
mg/kg 1
Cannabidiol
Test Code Analyte Composite/ No. of results Units Limit of reporting
CANNA Cannabidiol Permitted/ 1 result mg/kg 0.5
Carbon monoxide
Test Code Analyte Composite/ No. of results Units Limit of reporting
CO Carbon monoxide Permitted/ 1 result mg/kg 0.2
Cephalosporins
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
CEPHALO Ceftiofur Permitted/1 result mg/kg 0.1
Domoic acid
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
DOMOIC Domoic acid Permitted/
1 result
mg/kg 2
 
Erucic acid
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
ERUCIC Erucic acid Permitted/
1 result
mg/kg 2000
 
Ethylene chlorohydrin
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
ETHYCHL Ethylene chlorohydrin Permitted/
1 result
mg/kg 5
 
Fluoroquinolones
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
FLUORO Ciprofloxacin Permitted /
1 result for
each of the
chemicals listed
mg/kg 0.002
Enrofloxacin
Gatifloxacin
Levofloxacin
Moxifloxacin
Norfloxacin
Ofloxacin
Sarafloxacin
Histamine
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
HISTA Histamine Permitted/
1 result
mg/kg 20
 
Hydrocyanic acid
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
HCN Hydrocyanic acid Permitted/
1 result
mg/kg 1
 
Inorganic arsenic
Note: report ‘at 85% hydration’ in the ‘test methods’ field
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
INORG Inorganic arsenic Permitted/
1 result

mg/kg
at 85% hydration

0.1
 
Iodine
Note: report ‘dry weight’ in the ‘test methods’ field
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
IODINE Iodine Permitted/
1 result
mg/kg
dry weight
0.1
 
Lead
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
LEAD Lead Permitted/
1 result
mg/kg 0.1
 
Malachite green
Test Code Analytes Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
MALAG Malachite green Permitted /1 result for each of the chemicals listed mg/kg 0.002
Leuco–malachite green
Moisture content
Test Code Analytes Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
MOISTHNY Moisture content Not required/
1 result
% Not applicable
 
Nitrofurans
Test Code Analytes Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
NITROFU Furazolidone (AOZ) Permitted /
1 result for
each of the
chemicals listed
mg/kg 0.001
Furaltadone (AMOZ) mg/kg 0.001
Nitrofurantoine (AHD) mg/kg 0.001
Nitrofurazone (SEM) mg/kg 0.001
Paralytic shellfish poison
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
PSP Paralytic shellfish poison Permitted/
1 result
mg/kg 0.8
 
Quinolones
Test Code Analytes Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
QUINO Flumequine Permitted 1 result for each of the chemicals listed mg/kg 0.002
Oxolinic acid
 
Reducing sugars content
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
SUGARHNY Reducing sugars content Not required/
1 result
% Not applicable
 
Streptomycin
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
STREP Streptomycin Permitted/
1 result
mg/kg 0.026
 
Sulphonamides
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
SULPHA Sulphonamides Permitted/
1 result
mg/kg 0.1
 
Tetracycline
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting

TETRACY

Chlortetracycline Permitted /
1 result for
each of the
chemicals listed
mg/kg 0.025
Doxycycline
Oxytetracycline
Tetracycline
Total THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
THC Total THC Permitted / 1 result mg/kg 0.5
Virginiamycin
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
VIRGN Virginiamycin Permitted/
1 result
mg/kg 0.1

Allergen - dairy milk

Compositing not permitted
One result required for a liquid sample (at least 100ml)
Five results required for powder samples (at least 100g per sample)

Test code: ALLEGEND

Allergen - dairy milk
Results to be reported Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
Beta-lactoglobulin Not permitted/1 result for liquid and 5 results for powder ppm 0.1
Casein (expressed as skim milk powder) Not permitted/1 result for liquid and 5 results for powder ppm 1.0
Total milk (expressed as non-fat dried milk) Not permitted/1 result for liquid and 5 results for powder ppm 2.5

Fruit and vegetable residue screen​

Portion of the commodity prepared for testing must be as per Schedule 22 (Foods and classes of foods) of the Food Standards Code (see statements under each commodity in the schedule  which describe the ‘Portion of the commodity to which the MRL applies’)

Compositing permitted.

Reporting requirements:

Where all residues are below the LOR, report an analysis result as per the following table.

Analysis to be reported

Units

Results of analysis

All residues <LOR

mg/kg

< LOR

All-analytes

mg/kg

< LOR

Where residues are detected equal to or greater than the LOR, report an analysis result as per the following table. Include the measurement uncertainty (MU) in mg/kg in the ‘Results of analysis’ field directly after the analysis result. Report to one significant figure.

Analysis to be reported

Units

Results of analysis

Residues <LOR except

mg/kg

< LOR

<<analyte>>

mg/kg

<<result>> MU<<result>>

e.g. bifenthrin

mg/kg

0.16 MU 0.02

Test code: FVRES

Analytes to be reported

FSC 1.4.2 Residue definition

Units

Limit of reporting

2-phenylphenol

sum of 2-phenylphenol and 2-phenylphenate

mg/kg

0.05

acephate

 

mg/kg

0.05

aldrin and dieldrin

sum of HHDN and HEOD

mg/kg

0.05

azinphos-methyl

 

mg/kg

0.05

azoxystrobin

 

mg/kg

0.05

benalaxyl

 

mg/kg

0.05

bifenthrin

 

mg/kg

0.01

bioresmethrin

 

mg/kg

0.05

bitertanol

 

mg/kg

0.05

boscalid

 

mg/kg

0.05

captan

 

mg/kg

0.05

carbaryl

 

mg/kg

0.1

carbendazim

sum of carbendazim and 2-aminobenzimidazole

mg/kg

0.05

chlorfenvinphos

sum of E and Z isomers

mg/kg

0.05

chlorothalonil

 

mg/kg

0.05

chlorpyrifos

 

mg/kg

0.01

chlorpyrifos-methyl

 

mg/kg

0.05

chlorthal-dimethyl

 

mg/kg

0.05

cyfluthrin

sum of isomers

mg/kg

0.05

cyhalothrin

sum of isomers

mg/kg

0.01

cypermethrin

sum of isomers

mg/kg

0.05

cyproconazole

sum of isomers

mg/kg

0.05

cyprodinil

 

mg/kg

0.05

DDT

sum of p,p DDT; o,p DDT; p,p DDE and p,p DDD

mg/kg

0.05

deltamethrin

 

mg/kg

0.05

diazinon

 

mg/kg

0.05

dichlorvos

 

mg/kg

0.05

dicloran

 

mg/kg

0.05

dicofol

sum of dicofol and 2,2,2-trichloro-1-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2-chlorophenyl)ethanol

mg/kg

0.1

difenoconazole

 

mg/kg

0.05

dimethoate

sum of dimethoate and omethoate

mg/kg

0.02

dimethomorph

sum of E and Z isomers

mg/kg

0.05

diphenylamine

 

mg/kg

0.05

disulfoton

sum of disulfoton and demeton-S and their sulfoxides and sulfones

mg/kg

0.05

diuron

sum of diuron and 3,4- dichloroaniline

mg/kg

0.05

endosulfan

sum of A- and B- endosulfan and endosulfan sulphate

mg/kg

0.05

endrin

 

mg/kg

0.05

ethoprofos

 

mg/kg

0.05

fenamiphos

sum of fenamiphos, its sulfoxide and sulfone

mg/kg

0.05

fenarimol

 

mg/kg

0.05

fenhexamid

 

mg/kg

0.02

fenitrothion

 

mg/kg

0.01

fenoxycarb

 

mg/kg

0.05

fenpyroximate

 

mg/kg

0.05

fenthion

sum of fenthion, its oxygen analogue, and their sulfoxides and sulfones

mg/kg

0.05

fenvalerate

sum of isomers

mg/kg

0.05

fipronil

sum of fipronil, the sulphenyl metabolite, the sulphonyl metabolite and the trifluoromethyl metabolite

mg/kg

0.05

fludioxonil

 

mg/kg

0.02

flusilazole

 

mg/kg

0.05

HCB (hexachlorobenzene)

 

mg/kg

0.05

HCH (BHC)

sum of isomers of 1,2,3,4,5,6-hexachlorocyclohexane other than lindane (gamma-HCH)

mg/kg

0.05

heptachlor

sum of heptachlor and heptachlor expoxide

mg/kg

0.01

hexaconazole

 

mg/kg

0.05

hexythiazox

 

mg/kg

0.05

imazalil

 

mg/kg

0.05

indoxacarb

sum of indoxacarb and its R-isomer

mg/kg

0.05

iprodione

 

mg/kg

0.05

kresoxsim-methyl

 

mg/kg

0.05

lindane

 

mg/kg

0.05

linuron

sum of linuron and 3,4- dichloroaniline

mg/kg

0.05

malathion (maldison)

 

mg/kg

0.05

metalaxyl

 

mg/kg

0.05

methamidophos

 

mg/kg

0.05

methidathion

 

mg/kg

0.01

methomyl

 

mg/kg

0.02

mevinphos

 

mg/kg

0.05

monocrotophos

 

mg/kg

0.05

myclobutanil

 

mg/kg

0.05

oxyfluorfen

 

mg/kg

0.05

paclobutrazol

 

mg/kg

0.01

parathion-ethyl

 

mg/kg

0.05

parathion-methyl

 

mg/kg

0.05

penconazole

 

mg/kg

0.05

pendimethalin

 

mg/kg

0.05

permethrin

sum of isomers

mg/kg

0.05

phenothrin

sum of (+)cis- and (+)trans-isomers

mg/kg

0.05

phorate

sum of phorate, its oxygen analogue, and their sulfoxides and sulfones

mg/kg

0.05

phosmet

sum of phosmet and its oxygen analogue

mg/kg

0.05

piperonyl-butoxide

 

mg/kg

0.05

pirimicarb

sum of pirimicarb, demethyl-pirimicarb, demethylformamido-pirimicarb

mg/kg

0.05

pirimiphos-methyl

 

mg/kg

0.05

procymidone

 

mg/kg

0.02

profenofos

 

mg/kg

0.05

propargite

 

mg/kg

0.05

propiconazole

 

mg/kg

0.05

prothiofos

 

mg/kg

0.05

pymetrozine

 

mg/kg

0.02

pyraclostrobin

 

mg/kg

0.05

pyrethrins

sum of pyrethrins i and ii, cinerinsi i and ii and jasmolins i and ii

mg/kg

0.1

pyrimethanil

 

mg/kg

0.05

pyriproxyfen

 

mg/kg

0.05

quintozene

 

mg/kg

0.05

spinosad

sum of spinosyn A and spinosyn D

mg/kg

0.02

spirotetramat

sum of spirotetramat and cis-3-(2,5-dimethylphenyl)-4-hydroxy-8-methoxy-1-azaspiro[4.5]dec-3-en-2-one

mg/kg

0.02

tau-fluvalinate

sum of isomers

mg/kg

0.05

tebuconazole

 

mg/kg

0.05

tebufenozide

 

mg/kg

0.05

tebufenpyrad

 

mg/kg

0.05

terbufos

sum of terbufos, its oxygen analogue, and their sulfoxides and sulfones

mg/kg

0.05

tetradifon

 

mg/kg

0.05

thiabendazole

 

mg/kg

0.02

thiacloprid

 

mg/kg

0.05

thiamethoxam

 

mg/kg

0.02

triadimefon

sum of triadimefon and triadmenol

mg/kg

0.05

triadimenol

 

mg/kg

0.05

trichlorfon

 

mg/kg

0.05

trifloxystrobin

sum of trifloxystrobin and its acid metabolite ((E,E)-methoxyimino-[2-[1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl)-ethylideneaminooxymethyl]phenyl] acetic acid)

mg/kg

0.05

vinclozolin

 

mg/kg

0.05

Microbiological analysis

Bacillus cereus – tofu
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
BCERE Bacillus cereus Not permitted/
5 results
cfu/g Enumerate result for each sample. Report to at least 100
E.g.: <100, 1300, <100, 3000, <100
 
Coagulase–positive staphylococci – seafood
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
STAPH Staphylococci Not permitted/
5 results
cfu/g Enumerate result for each sample.
Report to at least 100
E.g.: <100, 1300, <100, 3000, <100
 
E. coli – bivalve molluscs, marinara mix
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
ECOLI E. coli Not permitted/
5 results
MPN/g Enumerate result for each sample. Report to at least 2.3
E.g.: <2.3, 45, <2.3, 45, <2.3
Presumptive E. coli Not permitted/
5 results
MPN/g Enumerate result for each sample. Report to at least 2.3
E.g.: <2.3, <2.3, 7.5, 9.3, <2.3
 
E. coli – cheese, fruit, vegetables, beef and beef products
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
ECOLI E. coli Not permitted/
5 results
cfu/g   Enumerate result for each sample. Report to at least 10
E.g.: <10, <10, 10, 120, <10
Not permitted/
5 results
MPN/g Enumerate result for each sample. Report to at least 10
E.g.: <10, <10, 10, 120, <10
E. coli – dried fruit/vegetables
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
ECOLI E. coli Not permitted/
5 results
cfu/g   Enumerate result for each sample. Report to at least 100
E.g.: <100, <100, 1500, 120, 500
 
Listeria monocytogenes – food in which growth can occur* (risk cheese, bivalve molluscs, cooked crustaceans, some meat products and some ready to eat finfish)
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
LIST Listeria monocytogenes If not composited/
5 results
/25g Detected ‘D’ or Not Detected ‘ND’ in each of the 5 samples.
E.g.: ND, ND, ND, D, ND
If composited/
1 result
/125g Detected ‘D’ or Not Detected ‘ND’ in the composite sample.
E.g.: ND
* According to the criteria on www.agriculture.gov.au for each food
 
Listeria monocytogenes – food in which growth will not occur* (surveillance cheese, some meat products, cooked crustaceans, some ready-to-eat heat treated bivalve molluscs and some ready to eat finfish)
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
LISTQ Listeria monocytogenes Not permitted/
5 results
cfu/g Enumerate result for each sample.
Report to at least 100.
E.g.: <100, 100, <100, <100, 200

* According to the criteria on www.agriculture.gov.au for each food

Salmonella – cheese, crustaceans, marinara mix, meat products, pepper, spices, sesame seeds, dried milk and products containing sesame
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
SALM Salmonella If not composited/
5 results
/25g Detected ‘D’ or Not Detected ‘ND’ in each of the 5 samples.
E.g.: ND, ND, ND, D, ND
If composited/
1 result
/125g Detected ‘D’ or Not Detected ‘ND’ in the composite sample.
E.g.: ND
 
Salmonella – coconut, powdered infant formula, dried herbs
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
SALM Salmonella If not composited/
10 results
/25g Detected ‘D’ or Not Detected ‘ND’ in each of the 10 samples.
E.g.: ND, ND, ND, D, ND, ND, D, ND, ND, D
If composited/
1 result
/250g Detected ‘D’ or Not Detected ‘ND’ in the composite sample.
E.g.: ND
 
Shiga toxin – producing E. coli (STEC) – beef and beef products
Test Code Analyte Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
STEC 026 Not permitted/
15 results
cfu/g

Detected ‘D’ or Not Detected ‘ND’ in each of the 15 samples.
E.g.: ND, ND, ND, D, ND, ND, ND, ND, ND, ND, ND, ND, ND, ND, ND

* currently no laboratory capability
045
0103
0111
0121
0145
0157
0104*
 
Standard plate count – crustaceans
Test Code Analytes Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting
SPC Standard Plate Count Not permitted/
5 results
cfu/g Enumerate result for each sample. Report to at least 1000
E.g.: <1000, <1000, 25000, <1000, 120000
 
Vibrio cholerae – crustaceans
Test Code Analytes Composite/No. of results Units Limit of reporting

VCHOL

Vibrio cholerae

If not composited/
5 results
/25g Detected ‘D’ or Not Detected ‘ND’ in each of the 5 samples.
E.g.: ND, ND, ND, D, ND
If composited/
1 result
/125g Detected ‘D’ or Not Detected ‘ND’ in the composite sample.
E.g.: ND
​​​​​
Last reviewed: 2 September 2020
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