MPI clarifies Listeria testing requirements under ANZ Food Standards Code Standard 1.6.1

November 06, 2015 at 11:21 AM

Following a recent enquiry to MPI on it's expectations of food businesses with respect to testing ready to eat foods fof Listeria, we have received the following information:

"The following is the agreed position of MPI -

 1      FSANZ defines RTE food requiring Listeria testing as follows ref std 1.6.1;

ready-to-eat food means a food that –

(a) is ordinarily consumed in the same state as that in which it is sold; and

(b) will not be subject to a listericidal process before consumption; and

(c) is not one of the following –

(i) shelf stable foods;

(ii) whole raw fruits;

(iii) whole raw vegetables;

(iv) nuts in the shell;

(v) live bivalve molluscs


.....There is more information in


2         The food standards code states:

For RTE food in which growth on Lm can occur n=5, c=0 m=not detected in 25g

Std 1.6.1 FSC 26-2-15


To confirm the food is safe to be consumed this standard must be met.


MPI published a guidance document in January 2012 which states:


3.5.3 Compositing of product samples

To demonstrate compliance with microbiological criteria such as that contained within the Food Standards Code, the number of samples needed is ‘n’ and will be no less than 5 in all cases limits.


When testing for the verification of Listeria control measures, e.g. operator defined limits or product testing, it is good practice to analyse more than a single product sample. The number of samples needed is ‘n’ and will be no less than 5 25 g samples in all cases. Testing costs may be able to be reduced by compositing samples i.e. testing a set of samples as a single sample provided the test does not become less sensitive by doing this. The laboratory needs to know when samples are to be composited. The samples should all be from the same batch or production line. This then gives a single analytical test sample of the total 125g. The laboratory will then report the result per 125g. When very large numbers of foods need to be tested e.g. when a contamination event has occurred it may be possible to composite more than 5 samples. However this may not always be practical and should be discussed in advance with the laboratory.

Compositing of product samples by the food operator should only occur if samples are taken prior to final packaging by automatic samplers. Otherwise compositing should be done by the laboratory.


From: Guidance for the Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-To-Eat Foods

Part 3: Microbiological testing for verification of the control of Listeria monocytogenes


In this document the minimum frequency of sampling is recommended as once every 10 batches. i.e. 5 samples from the batch every 10 batches of product manufactured.

The Food Standards Code does not give a frequency of sampling and it is expected to be up to the operator to justify.


For presence-absence testing (as in standard 1.6.1 above), there should not be any loss in sensitivity if the samples are composited.  Therefore companies doing this can be deemed to be meeting the requirements of std 1.6.1."



Tags: Listeria testing of ready to eat foods Standard 1.6.1 Listeria testing
Category: News



new rules for allergen labellingStandard 1.6.1 Listeria testingHemp seed food labellingRMP resourcesUCFM GuidelinesNational ProgrammeListeria monocytogenes in ready to eat foodSummary of Changes to Food Standards CodeFood safety and Covid 19Food business registrationFeeding food waste to pigsHepatitis AImporting food New ZealandCoronavirusreview of food traceability practicesCalculate sanitiserNovel foodsNovel food processing technologiesFood Safety training coursesLabelling of irradiated foodGM FoodsTemplate Food Control Planpreservatives in meatMilk allergen in dark chocolateNew Product Developmentallergen labellingFood Recall Proceduresfood packagingStorage of meat and seafoodbrix pH and water activityfood allergen labellingFood premises requirementsFortification of flourCoronavirus and food safety2020 General Principles of Food Hygienefish processingCovid 19 implications for food manufacturingFCP evaluationDehydrating foodsFood Safety WatchHurdle TechnologyAllergen managementFSANZ Food Allergen PortalFood Control Plan evaluationalcoholic beverages composition requirementsCovid-19 guidancefood and botulism risksale of raw milkFood Recall Statisticsfood industry crisis managementFood Standards Code modified atmosphere packingraw milk2020 HACCPfood safety auditorfood preservationalcohol warning labelsFood ProcessingFood Safety ToolkitListeria testing of ready to eat foodshydrogen cyanide and apricot kernelsEnvironmental swabbinghow to determine shelf life of foodsFood labelling guideListeria trainingLupinlisteria online trainingFood Act 2014NPDStandards for food premisesFood Safety Buddy magazinefood weights and measuresFood businesses operating under Alert Level 4Caffeine powders and foodJob VacancyFood safety and Coronavirusshelf life determinationDrying fruits and vegetables for food safetysalami food safety guidelinesEating safely when pregnantfood associations with pathogensMicrobiological reference criteriafresh produce sanitationImported Food Risk AdviceAllergens in foodSelf supply waterFood processing technologiesWSMP templateFood Safety data captureFood Allergen PortalFood Safety postersPathogen swabbingfood importer registrationgluten freeFoodRecall templateListeria Outbreak Rock MelonAcidifying Foodweights and measursTotal Diet SurveyUnexpected allergens in foodFood business operating at Alert Level 2Imported foodFood FraudMicrobiological analysisfood safety programme templatesWater activity seminarx ray detector functionalitySushi guidelinesfolic acid in flourInternal Audit trainingsous videcontract food safety specialistAlcohol in kombucharare or lightly cooked meat guidelinesHigh Pressure Processingfood contact packagingAcidificationFood safety and pregnancyfood traceabilityfood safety roleweights and measuresFood recall Risk ManagementPrivate LabelFood allergenFSSC 22000Food safety training resourcesCovid 19 Alert Level 4Food Notice for Food Control Plans and National Programmes Food Protection ForumAllergen management and labelling guideMicrobiological Limits in FoodHPP for milkFood Standards Code revisionHepatitis in frozen berriesWinemakers Food Safety Templatecustom Food Control PlanFood Safety Culture resourcesFood Safety Assessment KombuchaFood processing criteriaCountry of Origin labelling for foodWhich microbiological limits do I useFurther Processing guidelinesEgg labellingAlcohol labelling guideCovid 19 Alert Level 2carbon monoxide in fish processingHeat treatments for meat and seafoodCOVID 19label reviewsirradiated foodCross contamination E coli 0157Bacterial levels in foodRMP template formsListeria outbreakHemp seed can be sold as foodGuidelines for National ProgrammesFood safety governancefood legislation updatesListeria guidelinesIntentional SubstitutionMeat smokingTop 5 Food Safety TopicsHACCP trainingPet FoodFree Listeria training modulepreserving food with acidssulphites in meatvacuum packingLaboratory training coursesFood Act 2014 resourcesHACCP podcastpart time food safety roleCountry of Origin labellingFood Regulations 2015National Programme guidelinesDietary Supplements requirementscarbon monoxidefood defenceMaking food for animalsFood allergenspre-op inspectionsPregnancy warning labelsfood safety updatesFood Safety Assessor positionMisrepresentationCodex HACCP updatesMicrobiological testingNational ProgrammesAssured Food Safety new websiteFood labelling for food service and cateringglazed seafood weightsImported Food made with fortified ingredientscrisis management guidelinessous vide for foodserviceFood safety cultureConcentration and Dryingforeign object auditsPreparing food industry sanitisersInterpreting lab resultsCustomise Your National ProgrammeSalami manufactureOffice administrator positionMy Food PlanPregnancy warning labels on alcoholImported FoodsDomestic fridgesListeria monocytogenes in ready to eat foodsHepatitis A in frozen berriescontrol of Hepatits A in berriesFood RecallsCalculating alcohol in brewed soft drinksFood labelingListeria samplingCooking meat and seafoodTemplate FCPSafe fish consumptionSignificant amendments to Food Control PlansHome based food businessesFood Act 2014 exemptionsNational Programme guidanceMercury in Fishintended use codingHealth Star RatingFermenting vegetablesHPPraw milk safetyNutrition Panel CalculatorStarting a Food businessHamburger meat cookingGM Food resourcesKombucha food safetyFood businesses under Alert Level 3Food labelling for selling to manufacturersHousehold Refrigeratorsfood standards code indexFront of pack labellingFood fermentationFood labellingDangers of highly concentrated caffeineFood Recall guidelinesapricot kernels and food safetyHot holding meat and seafoodListeria swabbingFood labelling for retailE coli 0157 Egg shelf lifeCommercial sterilisationHACCP updatesshelfe life guidelinesFood safety trendsmetal detector functionalitywhat pathogens to test food forImported forzen berriesFood Fraud Toolkit