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Food safety requirements for berry growers and primary processor​s

If you are a berry grower or primary processor, you may be subject to new food safety standards.

Who needs to meet the requirements?

The requirements will apply to all primary producers and primary processors of berries:

  • A primary producer is a business that grows and/or harvests berries.
  • A primary processor is a business that does any of the following: washing, trimming, sanitising, sorting, storing, combining and packing berries, and transporting berries between pack houses.

What are the requirements?

The requirements of Standard 4.2.7 include:

  • notifying authorities of the business’s name, contact details and activities with berries
  • traceability: being able to track where berries have come from (and back to growing site) and who they have gone to
  • managing inputs: including soil, fertiliser and water, so they do not make berries unsafe to eat
  • hygiene: good personal hygiene and health practices of people that handle berries, as well as good hygiene of the premises and equipment they use.

The requirements will come into effect from 12 February 2025.

Refer to Standard 4.2.7 Primary production and processing standard for berries for full details.

Why has a standard been introduced for berries?

If berries become contaminated with harmful microorganisms or other hazards, they can make people sick. Cases of foodborne illness in Australia and overseas have been linked to fresh berries.

The standard aims to reduce the presence of hazards on berries, keeping the fruit safe for consumers to eat raw. Actions to manage the hazards start on the farm.

Berries can become contaminated from animals, the growing location, weather events, soil, manure and composts, water and poor hygiene of workers and equipment.

The standard sets minimum requirements for food safety, to address the main risks during berry production.

What berry crops are included?

The standard applies to fresh raw berries including, but not limited to:

  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • berries of the Rubus species such as blackberries and raspberries.

What do I need to do?

Page last updated 27 November 2023