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FDA inspects Salvadoran firms
February 8, 2013

COEXPORT helps food producers to meet U.S. demands

Orientation. Exporters FDA instructed on the requirements to meet in safety assessments.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, for its acronym in English) has conducted some inspections to enterprises engaged in food exports, mainly to the United States, and in the coming days will make visits to verify compliance to phytosanitary standards required.

To that exporters are aware, the FDA gave a seminar to raise awareness of the new regulations for the entry of food into the United States and also verify that companies comply with all safety requirements and good manufacturing practices in their production processes.

Discussing-HACCP-mod-smallFarook Taufiq, an expert on FDA Regulations,  said that it began conducting inspections prior to the first official assessment that take place in April. “Most of the plants we have visited to date have very high quality products that are safe, very clean and plants will not have problems when getting the FDA approval,” said Taufiq.

The Mr. Taufiq  said that despite not having yet found problems with safety and quality in the products inspected, companies must ensure the same standard in the formal evaluation. “With this, there is no guarantee, what companies should do is to follow the same standards of quality at the time of official inspection in April,” Taufiq recommended.

Before the new laws issued by the United States, the Corporation of Exporters of El Salvador (COEXPORT) performs a series of trainings to help exporters meet safety standards that are required when entering that country food.

FDA emphasizes sanitary quality exporters
February 8, 2013

“ Co Export”  prepares its members for visit by FDA.  Companies that do not meet new phyto-sanitary requirements may not export to the U.S.

The Salvadoran exporters  face a new challenge to keep United States: Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
Food Safety in their products, has become a focus due to a modification in regulations to the USA made by the administration Food and Drug – USA (FDA).

 

An evaluation exercise led by an expert  in Food Safety is being conducted in San Salvador, for the companies Negocios-Bakery-mod-smallexporting to United States. The 16 companies in San Salvador  exporting to USA determined that although they maintained very high sanitation standards, they still needed more aggressive implementation of the FSMA regulations.

They have still time to prepare for the visit the by FDA, “said Ana Leonor Diaz, Technical Manager, Exporting Corporation of El Salvador (Co-export), which together with Winrock and INSAFORP organized the round visits.

In the process of diagnosis executed by,  Farook Taufiq, a Food Sanitation Expert, and former Food Company Vice President,
between January 16 and  February 28, 2013, visited 16 food manufacturers, who participated in the program.
These companies included in diverse fields such as bakery, meats, dairy products, salsas, ethnic food, Flour Mills and Confectioneries. The first FDA inspection is free, however, if the follow up inspection becomes necessary, they will have to pay cost of inspection at a rate of $340 per hour, he pointed out:

Up to now, the products are held at the border, sampled and tested for compliance with the FDA regulations, including labeling. The new provisions, however, U.S. have transferred the responsibility of compliance to the exporters. The exporters must register with FDA, and submit copies of inspection audits by third parties, for FDA to approve. Once the company has passed all the tests and submitted all necessary documents, FDA will conduct an audit of the company. Based on approval, the products from the exporter will not be held at the border, but will be released. This will expedite transit time, as in the past, the products were held on the border for as long as two months.

Cheese-Mfg.-mod-smallPrecisely for training producer and exporter sector food Co-export ~ developed a seminar Food Safety Modernization Act, and which was attended by 60 food industry executives.
Among the issues addressed are the main elements of the legislation,
responsibilities of enforcement,  records and traceability, security plans food types controls in place, the management of supply  chain and how to prepare  for the next inspection by the FDA.

The cost of follow up inspection by FDA will be extremely high, in the event the first inspection results are not satisfactory. Many companies that participated in the program included  spice packers, , seasonings and ethnic foods, Many of these companies had excellent results, according to Mr. Farook Taufiq, who conducted the FDA type audits. We are pleased to report that El Salvador Food Industry is preparing for the FSMA, said the executive director of Co-export, Silvia Cuellar, who is affiliated with the food exporters.

Some changes can be accomplished  without huge costs. The true test  will occur with visiting member of the FDA in April. They will evaluate the complete healthcare processes, safety and sanitation levels, during their first visit.