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Intentional contamination of food

Intentional contamination is a deliberate action to introduce something into a product, often with the intention to do harm to the consumer, the company or both.

A food product can be contaminated at any point in the food supply chain from the farm to the table—in food processing, food storage or the food retail operations stage.

All food businesses in Queensland, whether licensed or not, must:

  • notify 13HEALTH (telephone: 13 432 584) if you have a reasonable suspicion that food at, or sold from, your premises has been intentionally contaminated.
  • follow all directions given by Queensland Health to help identify the source of the contamination and prevent or minimise the risk to public health or safety.

Signs that food may have been intentionally contaminated can include:

  • an object can be seen in the food which is not normally supposed to be there
  • the smell of the food is different to its normal odour
  • the taste of the food is reported to be different from its normal taste.

If someone becomes sick from eating or handling suspect food, a medical practitioner should be consulted as soon as practical.

Read the Suspected Intentional Contamination of Food - Industry Protocol

Download the notice of isolation of a prescribed contaminant form

Read about reporting other food safety issues

Last updated: 27 October 2015