Food Standards

If you are a primary or secondary processor of poultry, this page tells you what Standards you need to follow to ensure your products are safe and suitable to eat.

You must comply with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (Food Standards Code or the Code). The Food Standards Code is a joint standard between the two countries. Note that some sections of the Food Standards Code do not apply to New Zealand.

About Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) (External website)

You also need to follow the New Zealand Food Standards. These are separate from the Code and contain requirements specific to New Zealand. Find them in the Policy & law section, in the links below.

Regulations & Standards under the Food Act

Legislation – Policy & law

Operating under the Food Act

Rules for food businesses are changing – we're moving from the Food Act 1981 to the Food Act 2014. From 1 March 2016, all new businesses must operate under the Food Act.

Existing businesses (registered under the Food Act 1981 or Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 before 29 February 2016) will shift to the new Act between 2016 and 2019. Check the timetable to find out when your type of business has to transition.

Both the Food Standards Code and the New Zealand Food Standards come out of the Food Act.

Safe ingredients

You are responsible for identifying any risks to consumers from the ingredients you use. Carefully consider the ingredients you use in your products, especially if you package ready-to-eat ('value-added') products. You must ensure ingredients are fit for use, and manage allergenic components.

For full guidelines, see the 'Manufacturers of food and beverages' section of this website.

Packaging materials

You are responsible for ensuring the packaging you use does not cause food to become unsafe or tainted.

See the Poultry Processing Code of Practice (Part 2, chapter 9). Specific recommendations include packaging poultry in ways that prevent leaking of fluids, to avoid cross-contamination.

Poultry processing – Code of Practice

Labelling

You are responsible for ensuring the label details on your packaged products are accurate.

See the Food Labelling Guide and the 'Labelling & composition' section of this website.

The Poultry processing Code of Practice (Part 2, chapter 9) specifies that labels on retail packs of raw poultry products must include instructions on how to cook the product safely.

Poultry processing – Code of Practice

Calculating shelf-life

All packaged food with a shelf life of less than two years must be date marked with either a 'Use by' or 'Best Before' date.

You are responsible for determining whether a 'Use by' or 'Best Before' date should be used, and calculating the shelf life of your poultry products.

For more about shelf life, see the 'Manufacturers of food and beverages' section of this website.

Guide to calculating the shelf life of foods (460 KB PDF)