FSIS defends release of Brazil food audit
May 16, 2014
The Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service today defended its release of an audit of the Brazilian food safety system on Monday as "routine," even though the National Cattlemen's Beef Association said it should have been released while a comment period was still open on a proposal to allow the importation of Brazilian beef into the United States.
"FSIS periodically audits all countries approved to export meat and poultry products to the United States to ensure they continue to maintain a food safety system equivalent to our own," an FSIS spokesperson said in an email to The Hagstrom Report.
"In its latest routine audit, FSIS found that Brazil's meat inspection system continues to meet American food safety standards. The audit identified improvements that could be implemented, and the Brazilian government took immediate steps to comply."
NCBA said Monday that FSIS had identified "significant flaws" in the Brazilian food safety system, but FSIS said Brazil has provided an improvement plan, and that FSIS will send auditors back in September to make sure the plan is being implemented.
The proposal to allow imports of beef from 14 Brazilian states is still under FSIS review.
–The Hagstrom Report