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  1. International Cooperation on Food Safety

Systems Recognition (Food)

Systems Recognition (SR) is a partnership between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a foreign regulatory counterpart (referred to as participating agency or agencies), in which the agencies have concluded that they operate comparable regulatory programs that yield similar food safety outcomes. The FDA developed and implemented SR with the goal of leveraging global food safety to reduce FDA resources dedicated to food covered by a Systems Recognition Arrangement (SRA). SRAs allow the FDA and participating agencies to prioritize resources in a more risk-based manner and improve and expand information sharing on food safety issues. 

Recognizing the potential value in leveraging the expertise of foreign food safety systems, the FDA began exploring SR in 2010 as a tool to set regulatory priorities, establish closer regulatory partnerships, improve efficiency and strengthen our food safety system. Through the SR process, the participating agencies conduct thorough assessments of each other’s domestic food safety systems.  If each agency concludes that the food safety systems are comparable, they sign a SRA, indicating  that they have confidence in each other’s food safety systems and allowing them to leverage each other’s regulatory systems and activities to manage the safety of foods. 

The SR program is voluntary and not a requirement for a country to export foods to the United States. Currently, the FDA has signed SRAs with food safety agencies in three countries: Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

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