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  1. International Cooperation on Food Safety

FDA-SENASICA-Cofepris Food Safety Partnership

FDA-Mexico Food Safety Partnership

<< International Cooperation on Food Safety

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The FDA-SENASICA-Cofepris Food Safety Partnership (FSP) was established in September 2020, through a new Statement of Intent (SOI) between the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Mexico’s National Service of Agro-Alimentary Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA) and the Federal Commission for Protection against Sanitary Risk (Cofepris)

Through its Latin America Office, the FDA and Mexico’s food safety regulators have been working collaboratively on fresh produce safety since 2014. 

The goal of the FSP is to protect public health through the prevention of foodborne diseases in human foods, by using modern approaches and preventive practices based on technical and scientific evidence, health surveillance, and verification measures. 

Roughly one third of all FDA-regulated human food imported into the U.S. is from Mexico, including 60% of our fresh produce imports.

The FSP aligns with the aims of the FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint through its core elements of tech-enabled traceability, smarter tools and approaches for prevention and outbreak response, new business models and business modernization, and food safety culture. In addition, the FSP facilitates important work on increased data-sharing to improve outbreak response communications continues between Mexico and the U.S.

What’s New about this Food Safety Partnership 

The FSP provides new opportunities for collaboration that build upon our pre-existing partnership with SENASICA and Cofepris.

  1. The scope of the FSP has been expanded beyond fresh produce to include the safety of all human food. 
  2. The renewed FSP focuses on increased dialogue around emerging technologies, such as Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS).   
  3. FDA, SENASICA, and Cofepris have emphasized their shared interest in collaborating with academia, industry trade associations, and consumer groups in the U.S. and Mexico for a comprehensive approach to prevention of foodborne diseases in human foods.

Organization 

To accomplish the aims of the FSP, there are four content-specific workgroups that focus on shared priority topics as agreed upon between FDA, SENASICA, and Cofepris.

  1. The Strategic Priorities Work Group is establishing and implementing information exchange and communication mechanisms between agencies on strategic issues, that can potentially pose a risk to the health of consumers in both countries, identified through outbreaks and other for-cause events, and during routine import and export processes.
  2. The Laboratory Collaboration Work Group is enhancing collaboration on laboratory activities, including sharing Mexico’s whole genome sequencing (WGS) data in the  GenomeTrakr
  3. The Outbreak Response Work Group is enhancing the effective and timely response for the identification of outbreaks associated with human foods traded between both countries.  
  4. The Food Safety Training Work Group is facilitating training and dissemination mechanisms on food safety issues of interest and agreed upon by the FSP to help improve compliance with applicable requirements and regulations, especially under the Produce Safety RulePreventive Controls for Human Food Rule, and Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) Rule

Progress and Accomplishments

Working groups established at the start of the FSP reported tangible progress toward better protections for public health – particularly in the areas of exchanging analytical methods to improve detection and reduce exposure to food contaminated with Cyclospora cayetanensis. In addition, important work on increased data-sharing to improve outbreak response communications and targeted training and outreach continues between the three agencies.

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