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Poultry meat producers (farms)

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Poultry meat producers, or poultry farms, are operations where more than 100 birds are grown at any one time for human consumption.

Poultry means chicken, turkey, duck, squab (pigeon), goose, pheasant, quail, guinea fowl, mutton bird and other avian species (except ratites).

Licensing, registration

Poultry producers growing more than 100 birds at any one time need to:

  1. apply for a Food Authority licence online or download an application form (PDF, 388.73 KB), print and post it
  2. meet relevant standards
  3. prepare for inspections or audits once every 3 years.

For more see applying for a food licence.

Poultry farms growing less than 100 birds:

  1. do not need to be licensed, however they do need to notify the NSW Food Authority of their business details
  2. meet relevant standards
  3. prepare for inspections or audits once every 3 years.

Skills & knowledge

There are no formal qualifications required for poultry farmers, however each food handler and person in control of a food business is required to have food safety skills and knowledge appropriate to their food handling activities.

For a guide see FSANZ Safe Food Australia.

Full requirements are set out in the Food Standards Code, Standard 3.2.2 - Food Safety Practices and General Requirements, clause 3.

Construction & facilities

Construction and layout of a food premise must be designed to minimise the opportunity for food contamination.

Poultry producer facilities must ensure that their fixtures, fittings, equipment and transport vehicles are designed and constructed in a manner that means they can be easily cleaned and, where necessary, sanitised.

Businesses must also ensure that the premises are provided with the necessary services of water, waste disposal, light, ventilation, cleaning and personal hygiene facilities, storage space and access to toilets.

See the guide FSANZ Safe Food Australia.

Requirements are set out in the Food Standards Code, Chapter 3, Standard 3.2.3 - Food Premises and Equipment.

Hygiene & handling

A food handler must take all reasonable measures not to handle food or surfaces likely to come into contact with food in a way that is likely to compromise the safety and suitability of food.

Cleaning & sanitation

All fixtures, fittings and equipment must be adequate for the production of safe and suitable food, and fit for their intended use.

Routine internal cleaning and sanitation inspections must be undertaken, and records maintained for corrective action taken on any identified issues.

Cleaning chemicals must be suitable for contact with food and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Food safety controls

Animal welfare

In NSW the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (General) Regulation 2006 promote the responsible care and handling of animals, and make it a legal duty for anyone in charge of an animal to provide for its needs in an appropriate way.

All poultry transported to, or from, sale must be:

  • healthy and fit for sale
  • transported in a way that does not cause injury or undue suffering, and
  • transported in an appropriate cage or crate that provides adequate room, ventilation, shade and shelter.

The Regulation adopts national codes of practice that provide detailed information on acceptable animal welfare practices for livestock husbandry.

For more information on animal welfare visit the NSW Department of Primary Industries’ website.

Food Safety Management Statement

All poultry producers must develop and implement a documented food safety management statement (FSMS).

An FSMS is a statement that sets out how the business complies with the requirements of Food Standards Code Standard 4.2.2 - Primary Production and Processing Standard for Poultry Meat (Australia only). This includes examining, identifying, controlling, and verifying the potential food safety hazards in a business’s operations.

For poultry businesses in NSW, an FSMS needs to be approved by the NSW Food Authority. For small independent poultry growers this will be done at their premises as part of the verification program, and for contract growers this will be done centrally through the applicable processor by the Food Authority.

The Food Authority Food Safety Management Statement for small independent growers template can be used as an FSMS for poultry product transporters and is available as a Word document.

The Australian Chicken Meat Federation has developed a template for contract growers and businesses should modify information to correctly reflect their business activities. Sections not relevant to activities should be crossed out before signing.

Labelling

There are no specific requirements for labelling requirements for Poultry producers.

Testing

There are no specific testing requirements for poultry producers.

Inspections & audits

Poultry producers will be routinely inspected by the Food Authority for compliance with requirements.

Compliance or regulatory action will be taken if required.

There are fees for audits and inspections, payable by the licence holder.

For more see audits, inspections and compliance.

Legislation & standards

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