IFN 02-21 - Changes to tests applied to surveillance food

Date of effect: 21 June 2021


Food importers and brokers.


To advise importers and brokers of changes to tests applied to surveillance food that come into effect for all entries lodged from 19 July 2021.

Key points

  • We have completed a review of some surveillance tests. From 19 July 2021:
    • Cronobacter testing will commence on powdered infant formula (PIF). Salmonella testing will continue on this product.
    • Salmonella testing will commence on infant follow-on formula.
    • Antimicrobial residue testing will commence on milkfish (Chanos chanos).
  • From 19 July 2021, consignments of these products will have a 5% chance of being referred for testing.


Infant formula

  • Tests applied to surveillance foods change periodically so that compliance against different standards is monitored over time. These changes consider the results of testing conducted, updates to the Food Standards Code or updated risk advice from Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).
  • Schedule 27 of the Food Standards Code has two microbiological limits, Salmonella and Cronobacter that apply to PIF and one microbiological limit, Salmonella, that applies to infant follow-on formula. The limits in the Code reflect those set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), the international food standards setting body.
  • PIF is an infant formula product defined in the Food Standards Code 2.9.1 as a breast-milk substitute for infants that satisfies by itself the nutritional requirements of infants under the age of 4 to 6 months. Follow-on formula is defined in Standard 2.9.1 as either a breast-milk substitute or replacement for infant formula that is suitable to constitute the principal liquid source of nourishment in a progressively diversified diet for infants from the age of 6 months.
  • Introducing Cronobacter testing for infant formula and applying Salmonella testing to follow-on formula will allow us to verify that imported product is compliant with the limits in the Code for these pathogens.


  • Imported finfish have been targeted for testing for antimicrobial residues based on a list of fish species known to be raised under aquaculture conditions since August 2017.
  • The department is aware that there are significant quantities of milkfish (Chanos chanos) of the Chanidae family being imported into Australia.
  • Milkfish is typically raised under aquaculture conditions and are potentially exposed to antibiotics during their production.
  • As milkfish was not previously considered in scope for the antimicrobial residue screen, it is unknown if this food is compliant with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code regarding chemical (antimicrobial) residues.
  • The list of fish species targeted for the antimicrobial residue screen will be increased to include Chanos chanos (milkfish) of the Chanidae family.

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Last reviewed: 21 June 2021
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