Packing school lunches during a fruit fly outbreak

What you need to do, and know, when travelling with fruit or vegetables in the outbreak area and/or suspension area.

If you live, work or travel in a fruit fly outbreak area you need to understand how it affects you.

Step 1 – Check if you will be entering and/or leaving an area under quarantine for fruit fly

There are two distinct zones quarantined during a fruit fly outbreak:

  1. Outbreak Area
  2. Suspension Area.

Check the outbreak maps for your region to see what areas will affect you:

Step 2 – Know the rules for each area

Rules for the Outbreak Area – this is the smaller zone on the outbreak map:

  • When travelling into the Outbreak Area you can bring in any fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • When leaving the Outbreak Area don’t take out fresh fruit or vegetables that can host fruit fly. If you do live in this zone and need to pack a lunchbox, Step 3 will tell you what you can pack.

Rules for the Suspension Area – this is the largest zone on the outbreak map:

  • When you’re travelling into the Suspension Area from anywhere outside the outbreak and suspension areas you can bring in all fresh fruit and vegetables, noting the general requirements for entering the Riverland shown in Step 4.
  • When leaving the Suspension Area you cannot take out any fresh fruit or vegetables that can host fruit fly. If you live in this zone and are packing a lunchbox go to Step 3 for guidance on what you can pack.

If you accidentally take restricted fruit or vegetables out of the outbreak or suspension area, you must take the following steps:

  1. put it in the freezer for 48 hours
  2. dispose of the frozen produce normally.

Step 3 – Know what to pack in your lunchbox

You can pack the following into your lunchboxes:

Dried, cooked, tinned, pickled, frozen or preserved fruit, vegetables or nuts (check with your school if nuts are allowed).

Fresh fruit and vegetables you can pack:

  • asparagus
  • beans
  • beetroot
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • celery
  • carrot
  • corn
  • cucumber
  • herbs
  • honeydew melon
  • kale
  • lettuce
  • mushrooms
  • parsnip
  • peas
  • pineapple
  • rockmelon
  • spinach / silverbeet
  • turnip
  • watermelon
  • zucchini / squash

Checkout our what to pack for lunch (PDF 449.4 KB) poster for some fresh healthy lunchbox ideas.

You cannot pack any fresh fruit or vegetables (produce) that can host fruit fly. See the full list of produce that cannot be packed in your lunch box (PDF 948.9 KB).

Step 4 – Remember the rules for the permanent Riverland pest free area

The permanent Riverland pest free area helps to protect the region's valuable fruit and vegetable industry.

Restrictions apply for taking fresh fruit and vegetables into the Riverland. The Riverland pest free area map (PNG 270.6 KB) shows the restriction boundaries.

  • If you are travelling into the Riverland Pest Free Area, make sure you:
    • Only bring in fruit and vegetables if you have the itemised receipt showing it was bought from a South Australian shop. Failing to adhere to this puts you at risk of being fined.
    • If you do not have an itemised shop receipt, only bring in fruit and vegetables that cannot host fruit fly. See the list of produce that hosts fruit fly (PDF 948.9 KB) and cannot be brought in.
  • If you are leaving the Riverland pest free area you can leave this zone with any fruit or vegetables.

This information is also available for download in the Packing School lunches during a fruit fly outbreak factsheet (PDF 157.6 KB or DOCX 94.5 KB).

Page Last Reviewed: 07 Feb 2019
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