By Ryan Ramdeo, International Regulatory Affairs Associate
February 27, 2012
As of February 17, 2012 USDA has announced revisions to the requirements for the export of meat products to the European Union (EU). All approved slaughter establishments that have been authorized to export meat to the EU will have to comply with the EU additional residue testing program. This program has been in use since 1989; however the residue sample testing program has been revised to include substances found in the FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service)/USDA 2012 Residue Submission Enclosure). The residue testing program consists of testing for substances such as steroids, resorcyclic acid lactones, beta agonist, cadmium, and lead.
All samples collected for compliance with the EU additional residue testing program will be sent to Maxxam Analytics Inc. in Canada for screening as Maxxam is now the only North American laboratory qualified under the program. Each EU approved slaughter establishment will be responsible for making testing arrangements with Maxxam and sampling tasks will be assigned to these establishments via laboratory sampling tasks in the Public Health Information System (PHIS). A FSIS inspector will be assigned to each establishment and will be responsible for collecting, securing, and freezing samples. Samples must contain 200ml of urine and 200g of muscle, kidney or fat.
To help facilitate exports of meat, poultry, or processed egg products USDA recommends that you consult the export requirements for the specific country you are shipping too, to check the list of US establishments eligible to export to a specific country, and obtain a copy of FSIS form 9060-6 (Application for Export Certificate) from an FSIS inspector. The FSIS Application for Export Certificate is a general form accepted by most countries; however countries such as Canada will require a specific form such as FSIS Form 9135-3.
With an ever-dynamic regulatory environment it is essential we watch for changing regulations in our own locality, as well as being aware that the countries we export to are also diligently looking to improve their regulatory framework through improved documentation, testing, and regulations.
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