Imported Food - Testing Guidelines

​​​25 March 2019

Purpose of these guidelines​​

These guidelines provide information for appointed analysts on requirements for analysis of food sampled by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources 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 CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
ADULTHNYAdulteration with C4 sugarsNot required/
1 result
%Not applicable
Aflatoxin
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
AFLATAflatoxinPermitted/
1 result
mg/kg0.004
Arsenic (total)
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
ARSENICTArsenic (total)Permitted/
1 result
mg/kg1
Cannabidiol
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/ No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
CANNACannabidiolPermitted/ 1 resultmg/kg0.5
Carbon monoxide
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/ No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
COCarbon monoxidePermitted/ 1 resultmg/kg0.2
Cephalosporins
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
CEPHALOCeftiofurPermitted/1 resultmg/kg0.1
Domoic acid
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
DOMOICDomoic acidPermitted/
1 result
mg/kg2

Erucic acid
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
ERUCICErucic acidPermitted/
1 result
mg/kg2000

Ethylene chlorohydrin
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
ETHYCHLEthylene chlorohydrinPermitted/
1 result
mg/kg5

Fluoroquinolones
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
FLUOROCiprofloxacinPermitted /
1 result for
each of the
chemicals listed
mg/kg0.002
Enrofloxacin
Gatifloxacin
Levofloxacin
Moxifloxacin
Norfloxacin
Ofloxacin
Sarafloxacin
Histamine
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
HISTAHistaminePermitted/
1 result
mg/kg20

Hydrocyanic acid
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
HCNHydrocyanic acidPermitted/
1 result
mg/kg1

Inorganic arsenic
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
INORGInorganic arsenicPermitted/
1 result

mg/kg
at 85% hydration

0.1

Iodine
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
IODINEIodinePermitted/
1 result
mg/kg
dry weight
0.1

Lead
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
LEADLeadPermitted/
1 result
mg/kg0.1

Malachite green
Test CodeAnalytesComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
MALAGMalachite greenPermitted /1 result for each of the chemicals listedmg/kg0.002
Leuco–malachite green
Moisture content
Test CodeAnalytesComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
MOISTHNYMoisture contentNot required/
1 result
%Not applicable

Nitrofurans
Test CodeAnalytesComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
NITROFUFurazolidone (AOZ)Permitted /
1 result for
each of the
chemicals listed
mg/kg0.001
Furaltadone (AMOZ)mg/kg0.001
Nitrofurantoine (AHD)mg/kg0.001
Nitrofurazone (SEM)mg/kg0.001

Paralytic shellfish poison
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
PSPParalytic shellfish poisonPermitted/
1 result
mg/kg0.8

Quinolones
Test CodeAnalytesComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
QUINOFlumequinePermitted 1 result for each of the chemicals listedmg/kg0.002
Oxolinic acid

Reducing sugars content
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
SUGARHNYReducing sugars contentNot required/
1 result
%Not applicable

Streptomycin
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
STREPStreptomycinPermitted/
1 result
mg/kg0.026

Sulphonamides
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
SULPHASulphonamidesPermitted/
1 result
mg/kg0.1

Tetracycline
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting

TETRACY

ChlortetracyclinePermitted /
1 result for
each of the
chemicals listed
mg/kg0.025
Doxycycline
Oxytetracycline
Tetracycline
Total THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
THCTotal THCPermitted / 1 result mg/kg0.5
Tin
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
TINTinPermitted/
1 result
mg/kg1
Virginiamycin
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
VIRGNVirginiamycinPermitted/
1 result
mg/kg0.1

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 reportedComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
Beta-lactoglobulinNot permitted/1 result for liquid and 5 results for powderppm0.1
Casein (expressed as skim milk powder)Not permitted/1 result for liquid and 5 results for powderppm1.0
Total milk (expressed as non-fat dried milk)Not permitted/1 result for liquid and 5 results for powderppm2.5

Fruit and vegetable residue screen​

Portion of the commodity prepared for testing must be per the Food Standards Code Section 1.4.2, Volume 4 (see statements in this volume 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. Report to one significant figure.

Analysis to be reported

Units

Results of analysis

Residues <LOR except

mg/kg

< LOR

<<analyte>>

mg/kg

<<result>>

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 CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
BCERE Bacillus cereusNot permitted/
5 results
cfu/gEnumerate result for each sample. Report to at least 100
Eg: <100, 1300, <100, 3000, <100


Coagulase–positive staphylococci – seafood
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
STAPH StaphylococciNot permitted/
5 results
cfu/gEnumerate result for each sample.
Report to at least 100
Eg: <100, 1300, <100, 3000, <100

E. coli – bivalve molluscs, marinara mix
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
ECOLIE. coliNot permitted/
5 results
MPN/gEnumerate result for each sample. Report to at least 2.3
Eg: <2.3, 45, <2.3, 45, <2.3
Presumptive E. coliNot permitted/
5 results
MPN/gEnumerate result for each sample. Report to at least 2.3
Eg: <2.3, <2.3, 7.5, 9.3, <2.3

E. coli – cheese, fruit, vegetables, beef and beef products
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
ECOLI E. coliNot permitted/
5 results
cfu/g  Enumerate result for each sample. Report to at least 10
Eg: <10, <10, 10, 120, <10
Not permitted/
5 results
MPN/gEnumerate result for each sample. Report to at least 10
Eg: <10, <10, 10, 120, <10
E. coli – dried fruit/vegetables
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
ECOLIE. coliNot permitted/
5 results
cfu/g  Enumerate result for each sample. Report to at least 100
Eg: <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 CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
LIST Listeria monocytogenesIf not composited/
5 results
/25gDetected ‘D’ or Not Detected ‘ND’ in each of the 5 samples.
Eg: ND, ND, ND, D, ND
If composited/
1 result
/125gDetected ‘D’ or Not Detected ‘ND’ in the composite sample.
Eg: 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 and some ready to eat finfish)
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
LISTQ Listeria monocytogenesNot permitted/
5 results
cfu/gEnumerate result for each sample.
Report to at least 100.
Eg: <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 CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
SALM SalmonellaIf not composited/
5 results
/25gDetected ‘D’ or Not Detected ‘ND’ in each of the 5 samples.
Eg: ND, ND, ND, D, ND
If composited/
1 result
/125gDetected ‘D’ or Not Detected ‘ND’ in the composite sample.
Eg: ND

Salmonella – coconut, powdered infant formula, dried herbs
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
SALM SalmonellaIf not composited/
10 results
/25gDetected ‘D’ or Not Detected ‘ND’ in each of the 10 samples.
Eg: ND, ND, ND, D, ND, ND, D, ND, ND, D
If composited/
1 result
/250gDetected ‘D’ or Not Detected ‘ND’ in the composite sample.
Eg: ND

Shiga toxin – producing E. coli (STEC) – beef and beef products
Test CodeAnalyteComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
STEC026Not permitted/
15 results
cfu/g

Detected ‘D’ or Not Detected ‘ND’ in each of the 15 samples.
Eg: 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 CodeAnalytesComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting
SPCStandard Plate CountNot permitted/
5 results
cfu/gEnumerate result for each sample. Report to at least 1000
Eg: <1000, <1000, 25000, <1000, 120000

Vibrio cholerae – crustaceans
Test CodeAnalytesComposite/No. of resultsUnitsLimit of reporting

VCHOL

Vibrio cholerae

If not composited/
5 results
/25gDetected ‘D’ or Not Detected ‘ND’ in each of the 5 samples.
Eg: ND, ND, ND, D, ND
If composited/
1 result
/125gDetected ‘D’ or Not Detected ‘ND’ in the composite sample.
Eg: ND
​​​​​​​​​​​​
Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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