IFN 06-20 – Changes to the inspection and testing of some imported food

Date of effect: 18 September 2020

Attention

Importers, and brokers acting on behalf of importers.

Purpose

To advise importers and brokers that we are making amendments to the Imported Food Control Order 2019 that will change the way we inspect and test some imported food.

Key points

  • We are amending the Imported Food Control Order 2019 to update the foods that are classified as risk foods. We are also making changes to the way we inspect and test some of these foods at the border and will require certification for some foods.
  • The certification requirements for some foods will include having a Food Safety Management Certificate or a recognised foreign government certificate for importation and won’t take effect until 24 months after the Order is amended. 
  • Amendments to the Imported Food Control Order 2019 are expected to be made later in 2020.
  • We will keep you updated through Imported Food Notices on when amendments to the Imported Food Control Order 2019 are made and new requirements will apply.

Upcoming changes to the inspection of food

Food What will change
Berries that are ready-to-eat

Will be classified as risk food.

Consignments must be covered by food safety management certificates for importation. This change won’t be enforced/take effect until 24 months after legislation is amended. Analytical testing remains unchanged. 

Bivalve molluscs and bivalve mollusc products excluding those that are:
  • retorted and shelf stable
  • dried (excludes semi-dried).
Consignments must be covered by a recognised foreign government certificate for importation. This change won’t be enforced/take effect until 24 months after legislation is amended. Analytical testing remains unchanged. 
Coconut that is dried Will be classified as surveillance food. Consignments will be referred for at-border inspection and tested at a rate of 5%. Tests that will apply:
  • Salmonella
Marinara mix that does not contain bivalve molluscs or prawns Will be classified as surveillance food. Consignments will be referred for at-border inspection at a rate of 5%. No analytical tests will apply.
Pomegranate arils that are ready-to-eat

Will be classified as risk food.

Consignments must be covered by food safety management certificates for importation. This change won’t be enforced/take effect until 24 months after legislation is amended.

Consignments will be referred for at-border inspection and tested at a rate of 5%. Tests that will apply:

  • Escherichia coli
  • Fruit and vegetable residue screen (existing test applied to 5% of consignments).
Poultry that is cooked and is ready-to-eat All poultry that is cooked and is ready-to-eat will be classified as risk food (scope extended from chicken meat). Consignments will be referred for at-border inspection and tested at a rate of 100% until a compliance history is established. Tests that will apply:
  • Listeria monocytogenes
Crustaceans and crustacean products that are cooked and ready-to-eat Will remain as risk food but the tests applied will change. Tests that will apply:
  • Listeria monocytogenes (consignments will be referred for at-border inspection and tested at a rate of 100% until a compliance history is established)
  • Salmonella (consignments will be referred for at-border inspection and tested at a rate of 5%)
  • Seafood antimicrobial tests (existing tests applied to farmed product at the rate of 5% of consignments).
Tests that will no longer apply:
  • Coagulase-positive staphylococci
  • Standard Plate Count (SPC)
Prohibited plants and fungi as listed in Schedule 23 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code Will be classified as risk food. Schedule 23 listed plants and fungi are prohibited as food for sale by the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code and will be failed under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme.

Instructions

  1. Learn more about the requirements to import food into Australia, including risk-based classification (risk or surveillance) and inspection rates, under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme.
  2. Find out what tests apply to risk food and surveillance food.
  3. Learn more about food safety management certificates.
  4. Learn more about foreign government certification.

Background

Food Standards Australia New Zealand provides us with advice on whether imported ​foods present a potential medium or high risk to public health. We use this advice to classify food in the Imported Food Control Order and apply an appropriate inspection and testing regime through the Imported Food Inspection Scheme.

Subscribe for updates

Stay updated on changes to the requirements for imported food. Subscribe to the Imported Food Inspection Scheme imported food notices.

Last reviewed: 21 September 2020
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