Ongoing Equivalence Verifications of Foreign Food Regulatory Systems
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is describing the new methodology it is employing to conduct ongoing equivalence verifications of the regulatory systems of countries that export meat, poultry, or processed egg products to the United States. FSIS uses a three-part approach that includes: (1) Document reviews, (2) on-site system audits, and (3) port-of-entry (POE) reinspections. FSIS conducts document reviews at least yearly. FSIS conducts on-site system audits at least once every three years. FSIS determines the scope and frequency of on-site systems audits and POE reinspections through analysis of the results of its document reviews and an assessment of a country's performance. This performance-based approach allows FSIS to direct its resources to foreign food regulatory systems that pose greater risk to public health compared to others; make its international program more consistent with its domestic inspection system; and improve the linkage between POE reinspections and on-site audits. As a result, FSIS is able to effectively prevent unsafe imports from entering this country.