Prawn meat cooking requirements

​​​Publication details

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, March 2017

Requirements apply to the treatment of prawns, through cooking, to manage biosecurity risk. These measures are in place to manage the risk of White Spot Disease in prawn consignments that were imported prior to the suspension on 9 January 2017.


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The facility

The facility that cooks prawns must have processes in place that control the following:

  1. Receipt, handling, control, storage and processing of imported prawn meat, and associated record keeping.
  2. Storage, treatment and disposal of biosecurity waste.
  3. Separation of imported prawns, associated residue and biosecurity waste from other products.

The facility must be a (Class 3) Approved Arrangement (AA) under section 406 of the Biosecurity Act 2015. For existing Class 3 AAs, the department may issue a treatment direction that includes the relevant processing requirements (this may negate the need to apply a variation to the existing AA).


Prawns must be cooked using a method that:

  • allows measurement of core temperature, and
  • ensures all the protein in the product has coagulated.

Cooking methods may include: grilling, pan- or deep-frying, baking, boiling/poaching, steaming or microwave cooking.

Cooking must meet minimum core temperature and time requirements, which have been approved by the department. Examples of allowable time and temperature requirements are:

  • 60°C for 1 minute
  • 70°C for 11 seconds


  • You can find additional detail on AA requirements or associated directions.
  • Approval of proposed cooking requirements must be done prior to an arrangement being put in place.
  • It is likely that the department will need to inspect (or audit) the cooking facility before cooking can begin.


For enquiries on Approved Arrangements, please contact AA Canberra.

For all other enquiries relating to prawn imports or the prawn import suspension, please contact Imports or call 1800 900 090​.

Last reviewed: 14 September 2020
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