Food standards for poultry processing

If you're a primary or secondary processor of poultry, you need to meet official standards to ensure your products are safe and suitable to eat.

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

Find out more about Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) on the organisation's website, or read MPI's information:

You also need to meet the New Zealand Food Standards, which are separate from the Code and contain specific New Zealand requirements:

Regulations and standards under the Food Act

Both the Food Standards Code and the New Zealand Food Standards come from the Food Act.

Operating under the Food Act

The Food Act 2014 came into force on 1 March 2016. The Act applies to all new food businesses that started from that date.

Existing businesses (registered under the Food Act 1981 or Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 before 29 February 2016) are making the transition between 2016 and 2019. Find out when your type of business has to start operating under the 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 any allergenic components.

Find out more about manufacturing products:

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 for specific recommendations, including packaging poultry in ways that prevent leaking of fluids, to avoid cross-contamination:


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

Find out more about labelling food products:

Refer to the Poultry processing code of practice, which specifies that labels on retail packs of raw poultry products must include instructions on how to cook the product safely:

Calculating shelf life

All packaged food with a shelf life of less than 2 years must be date-marked with either a "use by" or a "best before" date.

You are responsible for determining whether a "use by" or "best before" date is best, and for calculating the shelf life of your poultry products.

Find out more about shelf life:

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