October 5, 2020
FDA held a ceremony commemorating the signing of a Statement of Intent (SOI) that enhances the Food Safety Partnership between the United States and Mexico. The SOI broadens and strengthens the scope of the existing Produce Safety Partnership SOI, signed in 2014. Now referred to as the Food Safety Partnership, this partnership is expanded from produce to include all human food regulated by the FDA.
We are pleased to present the U.S. FDA-Mexico Produce Safety Partnership: A Dynamic Partnership in Action progress report. The Produce Safety Partnership (PSP) is a groundbreaking collaboration to address the evolving nature of the production and distribution practices facing our respective countries. This report highlights how Mexico and the U.S. are working together to ensure the safety of fresh and minimally processed produce.
Recognizing the importance of safe produce to public health and the economy, Mexico has established a framework for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). This framework is based on preventive standards, verification, and certification programs for fresh produce and covers the full supply chain from growing through distribution. Mexico has charged its Federal Departments of Agriculture – National Service for Agroalimentary Public Health, Safety, and Quality (SENASICA) – and Health – Federal Commission for the Protection from Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) – to work collaboratively to implement its GAP framework and, thus, foster enhanced produce safety.
The U.S. is also strengthening regulatory approaches to food safety. The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2011 empowers the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) to better protect public health by implementing requirements that help to ensure the safety and security of the food supply. FSMA embraces preventive controls and strong verification processes as the foundation of a modern food safety system.
We have been working collaboratively on institutionalizing approaches that reinforce preventive practices and rapid response to potential outbreaks. As explained in this report, we have worked together to contain potentially serious outbreaks related to produce and lessen consumer exposure to foodborne disease.
As we move forward, this partnership allows us more flexibility and opportunity to learn about each other’s food safety systems and leverage new information to find innovative methods to ensure the safety of produce. We recognize the importance of establishing strong relationships and mutual support among all stakeholders, including industry, government, academia, and consumers working together to ensure food safety.