Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and its 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 second annual Food Safety Partnership (FSP) Meeting as part of ongoing efforts to help ensure the safety of food imported from Mexico and to advance protections for consumers in both countries.
“We are building on the longstanding partnership for the U.S. and Mexico to work together to contain outbreaks of foodborne illness and lessen consumer exposure to foodborne hazards. As we approach the 200th anniversary of U.S.-Mexico relations, keeping this partnership strong is more important than ever,” said Frank Yiannas, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for food policy and response. “Our food supply is global, and no single country can achieve its food safety goals alone. Our shared goal is to proactively use modern technologies, tools and approaches to help protect the global food supply.”
Mexico is a primary supplier of fresh fruits and vegetables to the U.S. FDA data shows that about one-third of all agency-regulated human food imported into the U.S. is from Mexico, including 60% of our fresh produce imports. This year, the FDA, SENASICA and COFEPRIS convened in Mexico City to complete several tasks that included: visiting a farm to implement food safety practices, including traceability, and to observe unique growing and harvesting practices; meeting with industry to learn more about their food safety efforts and to discuss collaborations, and lastly; holding the Annual FSP Meeting.
During this year’s meeting, the agencies reported tangible progress in each workgroup and discussed plans for the coming year to further food safety in both countries.
During this year’s meeting, the FDA, SENASICA and COFEPRIS reviewed Produce Safety Rule (PSR) trainings they had facilitated, including those with cilantro growers in Puebla, avocado growers in Jalisco and bulb onion growers in Chihuahua. The three agencies also worked with 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 about the FDA’s proposed Agricultural Water rule: Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption Relating to Agricultural Water.
“Within the framework of the celebration of 200 years of diplomatic relations between Mexico and the United States, we are honored to be FDA partners,” said Francisco Javier Trujillo Arriaga, director in chief of Senasica. “We know the importance of what is at stake, and we are convinced that the success stories we have had with producers and marketers of different types will generalize to other environments.”
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