Measure category: remove infested consignment

Risk reduction objective: Reduce infestation rates

Measures in this category include:

  • Inspect product and reject
  • Quarantine and reject

Note that this resource is a working draft, which is currently being reviewed and updated in collaboration with biosecurity specialists.

Overview of measure category

The likelihood of infested commodities reaching markets is reduced through inspection of the commodity and rejection, destruction or redirection of the consignment, or suspension of the registered site, production system or industry, if a pest threshold (typically zero) is exceeded. Inspection methodologies can vary from general surveillance to targeted sampling and can be once-off or repeated through the season and production system or supply chain.

Required proof of efficacy

Demonstration that detection efficacy and sampling regime will achieve the required sensitivity. Statistical principles for designing the sampling regime are well developed (e.g. ISPM31), at least as applied to consignment sampling. Where multiple inspections are conducted on a consignment then statistics can be used to demonstrate the combined benefit.

How the measures are certified

Records of inspection are kept, and processes, such as pest identification and rejection of consignments if pests are detected, audited.

How the measures are used

Most protocols have an inspect and reject step, and for high-risk commodities it can be standard practice both pre and post-border. In some cases, they are applied at various points through the production process and supply chain. For example, it can be applied during production, during processing, just prior to export and post-border. There is some discussion as to when such inspections constitute a measure as opposed to serving a general audit function for the overall protocol.   

Relationship with other measures

These measures differ from grading because the whole consignment (or more) is rejected if the pest is found, rather than the infested item being removed.

Consignment stage where the measures can be applied

Inspect product and rejectYesYesYes
Quarantine and rejectNoYesYes

Measures in detail: remove infested consignments

MeasuresRequired proof of efficacyHow the measure is certifiedHow the measure is usedRelationship to other measures
Inspect product and reject
The commodity is inspected at any point during production and post-production, or post-border, with a consequence (suspension from trade, destruction, redirection) for the consignment, registered site or production system if a pest threshold (typically zero) is exceeded. 
The statistics of consignment sampling of fresh produce is well described in ISPM31. The key variable to estimate is detection efficacy of the required inspection methodology. A 600-fruit inspection gives a 95% chance of detecting an infestation rate of 1 in 200 fruit, assuming 100% detection efficacy (ISPM31). Further analyses may be required to determine how detection is enhanced through repeated sampling or stratified sampling (e.g. of reject fruit where the pest is expected to most likely be found).Records of inspection are kept, and processes, such as pest identification and rejection of consignments if pests are detected, audited.Inspection of packed product is often required before a phytosanitary certificate can be issued. In many cases this may primarily serve an audit function, but it still reduces the risk of high-infested consignments being traded. It is relatively insensitive for cryptic pests. Nonetheless, when applied over many consignments it can give confidence that the overall system is working. Inspect and reject measures can also be applied at multiple points during production (e.g. crop inspection), during processing, and post-border. Inspection methodologies can vary from general surveillance to targeted sampling.Inspect product and reject is one of the most widely used measures, including in protocols that rely on a “single point treatment” or pest free area status (where detection of live pests also provides an audit for treatment efficacy). Inspect product and reject is similar to monitoring for pest freedom or low pest prevalence, although the focus is on detection of the pest in the commodity rather than estimating pest abundance to which the commodity may be exposed. The outcome can be the same (e.g. suspension of the registered site or facility).
Quarantine and reject
The commodity is held in quarantine to allow time for the pest or its symptoms to become visible, with a consequence for the consignment if an infestation is detected.
The key parameter is detection efficacy after holding the commodity in quarantine and applying the intended surveillance methods.Records of inspection are kept, and processes, such as pest identification and rejection of consignments if pests are detected, audited.A specialised, and costly, measure only applied to commodities with cryptic pests that will become detectable after being held under the right conditions and can be held in quarantine without losing value. Most commonly applied to plants for planting.  Similar to inspect product and reject, except the commodity is held in quarantine to improve efficacy of pest detection.  

Key references

  • Key references will be determined through consultation with biosecurity specialists and added here in the coming months.