Seeds and bean sprouts food standards

Sprout producers must follow strict food safety requirements

Seed and bean sprouts are considered high-risk horticulture produce as they are commonly eaten raw or lightly cooked. As harmful bacteria can grow rapidly during the production of seed sprouts, it is important that the food safety risks are managed throughout the entire production process. 

Seed and bean sprout producers are legally required to comply with WA food laws and the food standards code. The objective is to reduce the incidence of food-borne illness associated with seed and bean sprouts.

Examples of seed and bean sprouts

Under the Food Standards Code, seed sprouts include sprouted seeds or sprouted beans for human consumption that include all or part of the seed. Seed sprouts commonly available on the Australian market include, but are not limited to:

  • alfalfa sprouts
  • broccoli sprouts
  • clover sprouts
  • chickpea
  • chive
  • corn
  • onion sprouts
  • radish sprouts
  • snow pea sprouts
  • sunflower sprouts
  • mung beans sprouts
  • soybean sprouts

Before operating a food business that produces seed sprouts, you need to register with the Local Government where the business is located.

Refer to the registration of a food business for further details. 

Legislation and standards
The following legislation applies to the production and processing of seed sprouts in WA:
The Food Standards that specifically apply to the production and processing of seed sprouts include:

Production and processing standard for seed sprouts

The Production and Processing (PPP) Standard for seed sprouts (Standard 4.2.6) is part of a series of national food safety standards adopted by WA’s Food Act 2008.
The Standard is a national standard that applies to seed sprout producers/processors in all states and territories.
The Standard aims to minimise the risk of foodborne illness by setting out requirements for managing the hazards associated with the production of seed sprouts. The Standard applies if you conduct any or all of the following activities for producing seed sprouts:
(a) decontamination of seed or seed sprouts
(b) soaking of seed
(c) germination or growth of seed
(d) harvest of seed sprouts or
(e) washing, drying or packing seed sprouts. 
Food safety management requirements
Under the Food Standards Code, a seed sprout producer/processor is required to have a Food Safety Management Statement (FSMS) and to operate according to it. The Food Safety Management Statement sets out how the obligations imposed by the applicable Food Standards are to be complied with.

As part of the process, seed sprout producers/processors must:

  • systematically examine its operation to identify potential hazards and implement control measures to address those hazards;
  • have evidence to show that a systematic examination has been undertaken and that the control measures for those identified hazards have been implemented; and
  • have verified the effectiveness of the control measures.

Local government enforcement agency

The Food Safety Management Statement must be provided to the local government enforcement agency for approval or recognition. It is also subject to ongoing verification by the seed sprout producer/processor, and by the local government enforcement agency (if required).

There are templates developed by other jurisdictions to assist seed sprout producers/processors develop a Food Safety Management Statement. These can be viewed here –
Last reviewed: 23-08-2022
Produced by

Environmental Health Directorate