Food safety talks between U.S. and Mexico focus on building partnership

This previous week, the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration and its regulatory counterparts in Mexico — the Federal Fee for the Safety from Sanitary Dangers (COFEPRIS) and the Nationwide Service of Agro-Alimentary Well being, Security and High quality (SENASICA) — held the second annual Meals Security Partnership (FSP) Assembly as a part of ongoing efforts to assist guarantee the security of meals imported from Mexico and to advance protections for shoppers in each nations.

“We’re constructing on the longstanding partnership for the U.S. and Mexico to work collectively to comprise outbreaks of foodborne sickness and reduce client publicity to foodborne hazards. As we method the two hundredth anniversary of U.S.-Mexico relations, retaining this partnership robust is extra essential than ever,” mentioned Frank Yiannas, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for meals coverage and response.

“Our meals provide is international, and no single nation can obtain its meals security objectives alone. Our shared objective is to proactively use fashionable applied sciences, instruments and approaches to assist defend the worldwide meals provide.”

Mexico is a main provider of contemporary vegetables and fruit to the U.S. FDA knowledge reveals that about one-third of all agency-regulated human meals imported into the U.S. is from Mexico, together with 60% of our contemporary produce imports.

This yr, the FDA, SENASICA and COFEPRIS convened in Mexico Metropolis to finish a number of duties that included: visiting a farm to implement meals security practices, together with traceability, and to watch distinctive rising and harvesting practices; assembly with business to be taught extra about their meals security efforts and to debate collaborations, and lastly; holding the Annual FSP Assembly.

Throughout this yr’s assembly, the companies reported tangible progress in every workgroup and mentioned plans for the approaching yr to additional meals security in each nations. Reported progress and outcomes included:

  • Exchanging key info and plans that guided efforts to deal with a 2021 Salmonella outbreak, which was linked to bulb onions from the State of Chihuahua, Mexico. The three companies collaborated to share info on their respective onion plans to information response and prevention efforts equivalent to: SENASICA’s cellular laboratory for assessing area samples from inspections; the FDA’s International Provider Verification inspections for onion importers; and, internet hosting technical conferences with Mexican onion growers and packers to be taught extra about their manufacturing practices. The FDA and SENASICA additionally collaborated with the papaya business on the verification of the papaya guidelines, a software to additional encourage the adoption of meals security finest practices for papaya.
  • Discussing progress on the implementation of FDA’s Cyclospora methodology distance coaching plan based mostly on the BAM Chapter 19b technique for detecting Cyclospora cayetanensis in produce samples for SENASICA and COFEPRIS. Competency within the methodology will increase worldwide capability for detecting Cyclospora cayetanensis.
  • Establishing a brand new dedication for Complete Genome Sequencing (WGS) the place SENASICA and the FDA have dedicated to a knowledge sharing settlement to add 100 sequences (meals and environmental) to the GenomeTrakr community. This is a crucial contribution to the GenomeTrakr community and permits each nations to determine and reply to outbreaks sooner and with extra precision, serving to to mitigate the variety of shoppers impacted.
  • Establishing revised Binational Outbreak Notification Protocol to enhance well timed and efficient communication by: sharing WGS knowledge, together with a reference to the laboratory methodology for detection, and utilizing the FDA CORE Investigation Desk to share publicly out there epidemiologic info. As a subsequent step, the FDA, SENASICA and COFEPRIS are engaged on a brand new mannequin for conducting inspections involving participation by all three regulatory companies the place a meals security difficulty is suspected.

Moreover, throughout this yr’s assembly, the FDA, SENASICA and COFEPRIS reviewed Produce Security Rule (PSR) trainings that they had facilitated, together with these with cilantro growers in Puebla, avocado growers in Jalisco and bulb onion growers in Chihuahua. The three companies additionally labored with EMEX, a mango affiliation, to conduct three PSR trainings for mango producers in Sinaloa, Nayarit and Jalisco.

The FDA additionally offered outreach to SENASICA and COFEPRIS personnel concerning the FDA’s proposed Agricultural Water rule: Requirements for the Rising, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption Regarding Agricultural Water.

“Throughout the framework of the celebration of 200 years of diplomatic relations between Mexico and the USA, we’re honored to be FDA companions,” mentioned Francisco Javier Trujillo Arriaga, director in chief of Senasica. “We all know the significance of what’s at stake, and we’re satisfied that the success tales we now have had with producers and entrepreneurs of various sorts will generalize to different environments.”

The FDA, SENASICA and COFEPRIS will proceed to work carefully collectively to assist coaching for meals producers, stopping and responding to foodborne sickness outbreaks, and growing and implementing plans to boost meals security for mutual public well being.

“On this annual assembly, numerous actions have been carried out which have contributed to a greater understanding of the security programs of each nations,” mentioned federal commissioner for Cofepris, Alejandro Svarch Pérez. “As well as, they highlighted that they’ve allowed for a higher rapprochement between the principle actors within the meals manufacturing chain, with the purpose of coordinating efforts and making the most of the expertise and information out there.”

The FDA is dedicated to collaborating and utilizing each software out there to assist create a more healthy, smarter meals provide.

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