& U.S. have recognized comparable food safety systems.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Department of Health
Canada (Health Canada) have signed a “Food Safety Systems Recognition
Arrangement” to recognize each other’s comparable food safety systems.
It is considered the second time that U.S. singed
the recognition arrangement for comparable food safety systems taken place
during a recent meeting of the FDA-CFIA Health Canada Joint Committee on Food
Safety. Previously, the fisrt recognition arrangement was signed with New
Zealand back in 2012. In addition, a
similar system recognition process is currently ongoing between U.S. and
Australia and the European Commission.
According to the U.S.FDA’s statement, by
recognizing each other’s systems, FDA, CFIA, and Health Canada, have confidence
that they can leverage each other’s science-based regulatory systems.
This official recognition on each other’s
food safety systems has elaborated a framework for regulatory cooperation in a
variety of areas that range from scientific collaboration to outbreak response.
The arrangement is on a
basis of reciprocal food safety assessment. Systems recognition includes
reviewing a foreign country’s domestic food safety regulatory system to
determine whether it has both legal authorities and regulatory tools that
provide comparable public health outcomes in each country.
The systems recognition will
assist food safety authorities to
implement a risk-based plan
(scope and frequency) for inspection activities, including foreign facility
inspections, import field exams, and import sampling.
It is further described that
the two countries carried out the systems recognition review and assessment
considering “the International Comparability Assessment Tool” (ICAT). The
process comprises a comprehensive review of key elements of the national food
safety control system such as its relevant laws and regulations, inspection
programs, response to food-related illness and outbreaks, compliance and
enforcement and laboratory support.
More information about “Food Safety Systems Recognition
Arrangement” between the partner countries is available from websites of CFIA and U.S.FDA.