FSIS: Procedural Agreement with Mexico

30-04-2010 | |

The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced the signing of a procedural agreement with Mexico’s National Service of Health, Food Safety, and Agro-Alimentary Quality (SENASICA).

The “Terms of Reference” is a documented procedure for the way in which FSIS engages with its Mexico counterpart, SENASICA. The document has been a collaborative effort between the governments of Mexico and the US, and represents a new level of interaction and cooperation between FSIS and SENASICA.

Ensure food safety

“FSIS has been working diligently with SENASICA on this agreement to improve how we work together,” said FSIS Administrator Al Almanza. “Through the cooperation of SENASICA, we can jointly continue to enhance our efforts in ensuring food safety and protecting public health.”

Trade in meat and poultry

The ceremony brought senior representatives from SENASICA to Washington, D.C. to sign the document, “Terms of Reference for the Operational Relationship of the Mexican National Service of Health, Food Safety, and Agro-Alimentary Quality and the United States Food Safety and Inspection Service in the Trade in Meat, Poultry and Egg Products Between the United Mexican States and The United States of America” with FSIS officials. The document focuses on matters of equivalence, audit procedures, the listing and delisting of eligible establishments for export to the two respective countries, and establishing more effective means of communication in areas of public health. FSIS Administrator Al Almanza and SENASICA Director in Chief Enrique Sanchez-Cruz signed the agreement on behalf of their respective governments.

The agreement was intended to provide an opportunity for improvement of established procedures. FSIS and SENASICA worked together after SENASICA’s request to FSIS for written standard procedures by which the agencies interact on matters of food safety and public health.

To view the full written procedural agreement go to the FSIS website, (PDF).

Natalie Berkhout Freelance journalist