IFN 05-19 – Monitoring cooked crustaceans for Listeria monocytogenes

25 March 2019

Supersedes IFN 16-18: Monitoring cooked crustaceans for Listeria monocytogenes

Purpose

The purpose of this notice is to advise importers and brokers that from 25 March 2019 importers will be able to submit a voluntary Imported Food Inspection Scheme (IFIS) importer declaration for cooked crustaceans that do not support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes.

Changes effective from 25 March 2019

From 25 March 2019, importers will 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 they import 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 food that has 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.

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

Compliance requirements

Standard 1.6.1 and Schedule 27 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code provides two sets of limits for:

  • ready to eat food in which the growth of Listeria monocytogenes can occur
  • ready to eat food in which the growth of Listeria monocytogenes will not occur.

Cooked crustaceans tested for Listeria monocytogenes will be assessed for compliance against the relevant limits as outlined in the following table:

Hazard/Test applied

Food type

Permitted result

Listeria monocytogenes
Applied when a valid ‘IFIS Importer declaration for cooked crustaceans that do not support the growth of Listeria monocytogeneshas not been lodged.

Cooked crustaceans

Not detected1 in any of the five 25 g sample units

Listeria monocytogenes
Applied when a valid ‘IFIS Importer declaration for cooked crustaceans that do not support the growth of Listeria monocytogeneshas been lodged

Cooked crustaceans

n = 5, c = 0, m = 100 cfu/g

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.

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

Background

In 2018, there were a number of food recalls of cooked crustacean products in the European Union.

In November 2018, a trade level food recall was conducted in New South Wales and Queensland relating to imported frozen cooked crustaceans that were contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

On 17 January 2019, the department began testing imported chilled or frozen cooked crustaceans for the presence of Listeria monocytogenes at the surveillance rate of five per cent of consignments. This analysis is applied in addition to the existing risk food analysis applied to cooked crustaceans, available on the Tests applied to risk food webpage.

Listeria monocytogenes analysis is not applied to:

  • dried, raw, or retorted crustaceans
  • crustaceans that require further cooking
  • mixed food containing crustaceans as an ingredient
  • cooked crustaceans from New Zealand
  • cooked crustaceans imported under a Food Import Compliance Agreement.

Subscribe for updates

To receive an update when changes are made to the requirements for imported food, use the following link to subscribe to the Imported Food Inspection Scheme

Last reviewed: 7 November 2019
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