USDA Clarifies Re-inspection Procedures to be Used Prior to Issuing Export Certificates
The Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service issued Nov. 6 a notice clarifying the re-inspection procedures that inspection program personnel are to employ in official establishments before issuing export certificates. USDA regulations do not require product re-inspection prior to issuing an export certificate at the official producing establishment, but if they are not issued at that time certificates may be issued later only after identification and re-inspection of the products.
The notice indicates that inspection program personnel at official establishments where products are produced for export have the discretion to choose whether or not a re-inspection is necessary. These personnel conduct ongoing verification activities (e.g., verification of other consumer protection practices and sanitation performance checks) of such products and thus have knowledge and awareness of the establishment’s procedures for ensuring the safety, wholesomeness and accurate labeling of the products. FSIS states that these individuals are therefore not required to conduct re-inspection of product that was produced and packed at that official establishment before signing the FSIS Form 9060-6, Application for Export Certificate, unless they have a reason to question the soundness of the product or whether the products are properly labeled to meet FSIS regulatory requirements or the requirements of the importing country. When these conditions are observed, inspection personnel are to examine the product as set out in FSIS Directive 9040.1.