Mexico, US Ally to Promote Food SafetyBy Sofía Hanna | Thu, 08/26/2021 - 09:18
Mexico and the US reiterated their commitment to undertake preventive actions to strengthen food safety through science and good practices, which would allow both countries to achieve better production of foodstuffs. In a recent event, Mexico’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Health (SADER) strengthened its commitment to work with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reduce risks.
During the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Alliance for Food Safety, representatives from Mexico and the US met to set goals and strategies that would reduce physical, chemical and microbiological contamination in food production. These types of alliances are fundamental to food safety due to the high volume of trade between both countries. “About one-third of all food imported into the US comes from Mexico, including 60 percent of all imported fresh produce,” the FDA reported. This alliance has also benefited domestic consumption since now the shelves of the most important chains of self-service stores in Mexico can boast their offering of certified products in good condition, reads an official SADER report.
Part of the goals of this year’s meeting was for the FDA and SENASICA, with COFEPRIS’s support, to work together to improve communication and supervision at all stages of the food production chain, as well as to share their experience with new approaches. FDA and SENASICA are basing their objectives on the New Era Plan for Smarter Food Safety, “which has as central elements traceability enabled by smarter technology, tools and approaches for prevention and response to outbreaks.” The alliance will focus on four strategic priorities: preventing food-borne diseases, improving coordination for the response to food safety outbreaks, harmonizing and coordinating the tasks of the official laboratories of regulatory entities and training the food industry to apply preventive controls that promote safety.
SADER has provided remote training throughout Mexico and training programs for inspectors of packaging areas in Mexico to promote a culture of prevention. Previously, MBN had reported that the Mexican Food Safety Agency (SEGALMEX), with the help of SADER, implemented the second stage of the Training Model in Food Orientation, which aims to contribute to the development of skills, attitudes and eating practices that favor the adoption of a healthy diet. The Standards and Trade Development Fund (STDF) is also starting projects to adopt new technologies and innovative solutions to control and monitor pests and diseases.
Mexico continues to develop solutions to have food security, given the pressure that has been placed in and out of the country. Unicef recently urged Mexico to take highly necessary measures to address the deterioration of health and nutrition of its population, which were further worsened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.