Mexico Enters Into Food Safety Partnership with United States
China isn’t the only country with heightened food safety on its mind lately. Mexico is also making an effort to improve food safety throughout its agriculture supply chain. To make this a reality, Mexico’s National Service for Agro-Alimentary Public Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA) and Federal Commission for the Protection from Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) have enlisted the help of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This week the three organizations announced a statement of intent and the forging of a partnership in order to modernize and boost the state of food safety within Mexico’s fresh and value-added produce industry.
The FDA will reportedly be working with SENASICA and COFEPRIS to identify best practices and develop safety standards that will prevent foodborne pathogen contamination of fresh fruits and vegetables at different points including growing, harvesting, packing, warehousing, and distribution. The groups will also be working on strategies to reliably test the produce and verify that these best practices are working.
Officials on both sides of the partnership are hailing it as progress in the field of public health for consumers in Mexico as well as around the world – after all, Mexico’s ideal climate has made the country a major fresh produce exporter to the United States and abroad.
“Mexico is one of the United States’ top trading partners, and much of the produce we eat is grown there, including produce that otherwise would be hard to find during the winter,” FDA Deputy Commissioner Michael Taylor told the press in a statement about the partnership. “FDA has a long-standing relationship with Mexico on food safety, and modernization efforts underway on both sides of the border provide an opportunity to make this partnership even stronger,” Taylor said. “Food safety partnerships must extend well beyond government, so we are engaging the private sector as well because their food safety practices, coupled with government standards, are what make food safe.”