Bivalve Molluscs - Producer or Processor

If you are growing, picking, harvesting, collecting, shucking, bottling, brining, packing or storing bivalve molluscs for supply to other businesses then you require an accreditation with Safe Food Production Queensland (Safe Food). The term ‘bivalve molluscs’ refers to oysters, scallops, mussels, clams, cockles and pipis.

Depending on the type of activities you plan to undertake, you will require an accreditation as either a Producer or Processor under the Seafood Scheme of the Food Production (Safety) Regulation 2014.

  • Growing, picking, harvesting or collecting bivalve molluscs is classified as Producing under the Seafood Scheme.
  • Shucking, brining, bottling, and/or packing bivalve molluscs at a fixed land-based site is classified as Processing.

Note: If you are undertaking activities under both categories, then you should apply for a Processing accreditation.

Other accreditations you may need

If you receive bivalve molluscs and supply all your product for retail sale to the general public, then you don’t require an accreditation with Safe Food. However, you will require a license under the Food Act 2006 from your local council.

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Before you apply

If you intend to process bivalve molluscs, you must do so in an approved facility that meets the requirements of:

If your food premise complies with these requirements and you wish to proceed with an application for accreditation, please see below for what you need to submit.

What should I submit with my application?

  • Application form

    Complete the application form and select Producing (seafood scheme, oyster growers/pickers) OR Processing (seafood scheme) as your activity on page 2.

    Note: If you are producing bivalve molluscs other than oysters, you should still select oyster grower/pickers on the application form.

    Note: If you are undertaking activities under both accreditation categories, then you should apply as a Processor.

  • Payment of fees

    Fees and payment details can be viewed within the Application form.

  • Food Safety Program

    You must submit a Food Safety Program (FSP) with you application. A FSP documents the processes and procedures you will follow to minimise or eliminate food safety risks and ensure the food you produce is safe. This is a detailed document that covers all aspects of your business, from inputs, product descriptions and temperatures, right through to cleaning, maintenance and pest control. It involves a risk assessment to identify where any possible issues may arise, how to recognise these issues, what the acceptable limits are around each step, and what to do to rectify a food safety issue, should it occur.

    A FSP can be developed in partnership with a food safety consultant or your industry peak body. However, you are not obliged to use these.

  • Approval from local council (Processors only)

    If you are applying for accreditation as a Processor, you must provide written confirmation from your local council that you are permitted to undertake your proposed activities at the land-based site from which you intend to operate.

  • Floor plan (Processors only)

    If you are applying for accreditation as a Processor, you must submit a floor plan of your processing facility that shows the location of:

    • cool rooms/ refrigerators
    • entry and exit points
    • staff facilities (e.g. toilets, etc.)
    • hand washing facilities
    • benches and equipment for processing seafood
    • drains
  • Photos (Processors only)

    If you are applying for accreditation as a Processor, please submit photos of the following:

    • cool rooms & refrigerators, including temperature gauge
    • hand washing facilities, including chemicals used
    • drains and disposal system for garbage and waste water
    • all equipment that may come into contact with seafood (e.g. knives, shucking stations, thermometers, etc.)
  • Resource Allocation Authority (Oyster Growers only)

    If you are growing oysters, you must provide a copy of your:

    • Resource Allocation Authority issued by Fisheries Queensland
      AND
    • Development Approval from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
  • Evidence of open harvest area (Oyster Growers only)

    If you are growing oysters, you must be able to demonstrate that your harvest areas are open as per the requirements of Food Standards Code, Standard 4.2.1. This can be done by independent microbiological and biotoxin testing or discussing with your industry association.

  • Copy of your Commercial Harvest Licence (bivalve mollusc harvesters only)

    If you are harvesting bivalve molluscs, you must provide a copy of your Commercial Harvest Fishery Licence or equivalent issued by Fisheries Queensland. For more information, contact Fisheries Queensland on 13 25 23.

Submit your completed application to info@safefood.qld.gov.au or PO Box 221, Greenslopes, Brisbane, QLD 4120.

When to apply

Under the Food Production (Safety) Act 2000, it is unlawful to engage in certain activities relating to primary production or processing of food until you have been granted an accreditation by Safe Food. As such, you should allow adequate time for your application to be reviewed by Safe Food before you begin operating.

Your application will aim to be assessed within 14 days, although applications submitted in their entirety (with all the items outlined above) are likely to be processed faster.

Upon submission of your application, a member of our Central Assessment Team will contact you for payment (if paying by credit card). Once payment has been received, your application will be assessed, and we will contact you if we require any further information.

You will be notified in writing about the outcome of your application (approved or refused).

Temporary Accreditations

As a seafood producer or processor, you will be undertaking activities deemed to be medium or high risk under the Food Production (Safety) Regulation 2014. As such, if your application is approved, you will be issued a temporary accreditation to start with.

A temporary accreditation is issued for a period of up to two months, prior to being considered for an open accreditation.

Under a temporary accreditation, you must have your food production system approved by Safe Food before you can begin supplying foods that pose a higher risk to consumers. Examples include ready-to-eat products like oysters. Your level of risk will be determined based on what is documented in your Food Safety Program and compared against the Food Production (Safety) Regulation 2014.

If you are issued a temporary accreditation, you will be required to submit additional technical information to demonstrate that your nominated food safety controls are effective in maintaining compliance with the requirements of the Seafood Scheme. This required information is in addition to the application process and will incur additional costs. You will be notified in writing if you are issued a temporary accreditation and what you need to supply.

For more information about temporary accreditation requirements for bivalve molluscs, please contact us.

Fees

Fees are based on the activities you are carrying out and are outlined in the Application form.

Please note that new applications will incur a one-time application fee that is non-refundable.

Our accreditation period runs from 1st January – 31st December*. You will therefore need to renew your accreditation on an annual basis.

For more information, please refer to our fees & charges.

*Our fees are not pro-rata.