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

Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and its own regulatory counterparts in Mexico the Federal Commission for the Protection from Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) and the National Service of Agro-Alimentary Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA) held the next annual Food Safety Partnership (FSP) Meeting within ongoing efforts to greatly help ensure the safety of food imported from Mexico also to advance protections for consumers in both countries.

We have been building on the longstanding partnership for the U.S. and Mexico to interact to contain outbreaks of foodborne illness and lessen consumer contact with foodborne hazards. Once we approach the 200th anniversary of U.S.-Mexico relations, keeping this partnership strong is more important than ever before, said Frank Yiannas, the FDAs deputy commissioner for food policy and response.

Our food supply is global, no single country can perform its food safety goals alone. Our shared goal would be to proactively use modern technologies, tools and methods to help protect the global food supply.

Mexico is really a primary supplier of fruits and vegetables to the U.S. FDA data demonstrates about one-third of most agency-regulated human food imported in to the U.S. is from Mexico, including 60% of our fresh produce imports.

This season, the FDA, SENASICA and COFEPRIS convened in Mexico City to perform several tasks that included: visiting a farm to implement food safety practices, including traceability, also to observe unique growing and harvesting practices; ending up in industry for more information about their food safety efforts also to discuss collaborations, and finally; holding the Annual FSP Meeting.

In this years meeting, the agencies reported tangible progress in each workgroup and discussed plans for the year ahead to help expand food safety in both countries. Reported progress and outcomes included:

  • Exchanging key information and plans that guided efforts to handle a 2021 Salmonella outbreak, that was associated with bulb onions from hawaii of Chihuahua, Mexico. The three agencies collaborated to talk about home elevators their respective onion plans to steer response and prevention efforts such as for example: SENASICAs mobile laboratory for assessing field samples from inspections; the FDAs Foreign Supplier Verification inspections for onion importers; and, hosting technical meetings with Mexican onion growers and packers for more information about their production practices. The FDA and SENASICA also collaborated with the papaya industry on the verification of the papaya checklist, an instrument to help expand encourage the adoption of food safety guidelines for papaya.
  • Discussing progress on the implementation of FDAs Cyclospora methodology distance training plan in line with the BAM Chapter 19b way for detecting Cyclospora cayetanensis in produce samples for SENASICA and COFEPRIS. Competency in the methodology will expand international convenience of detecting Cyclospora cayetanensis.
  • Establishing a fresh commitment for Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) where SENASICA and the FDA have focused on a data sharing agreement to upload 100 sequences (food and environmental) to the GenomeTrakr network. That is a significant contribution to the GenomeTrakr network and allows both countries to recognize and react to outbreaks faster sufficient reason for more precision, assisting to mitigate the amount of consumers impacted.
  • Establishing revised Binational Outbreak Notification Protocol to boost timely and effective communication by: sharing WGS data, including a mention of the laboratory methodology for detection, and utilizing the FDA CORE Investigation Table to talk about publicly available epidemiologic information. As a next thing, the FDA, SENASICA and COFEPRIS will work on a fresh model for conducting inspections involving participation by all three regulatory agencies in which a food safety issue is suspected.

Additionally, in this years meeting, the FDA, SENASICA and COFEPRIS reviewed Produce Safety Rule (PSR) trainings that they had facilitated, including people that have cilantro growers in Puebla, avocado growers in Jalisco and bulb onion growers in Chihuahua. The three agencies also caused EMEX, a mango association, to conduct three PSR trainings for mango producers in Sinaloa, Nayarit and Jalisco.

The FDA also provided outreach to SENASICA and COFEPRIS personnel concerning the FDAs proposed Agricultural Water rule: Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption Associated with Agricultural Water.

Within the framework of the celebration of 200 years of diplomatic relations between Mexico and america, we have been honored to be FDA partners, said Francisco Javier Trujillo Arriaga, director in chief of Senasica. We realize the significance of what’s on the line, and we have been convinced that the success stories we’ve had with producers and marketers of different types will generalize to other environments.

The FDA, SENASICA and COFEPRIS will work closely together to aid training for food producers, preventing and giving an answer to foodborne illness outbreaks, and developing and implementing plans to improve food safety for mutual public health.

In this annual meeting, various activities were completed which have contributed to an improved knowledge of the safety systems of both countries, said federal commissioner for Cofepris, Alejandro Svarch Prez. Furthermore, they highlighted they have allowed for a larger rapprochement between your main actors in the meals production chain, with the purpose of coordinating efforts and benefiting from the knowledge and knowledge available.

The FDA is focused on collaborating and using every tool open to help develop a healthier, smarter food supply.

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