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WARNING LETTER

Cecilia Alvarez MARCS-CMS 643706 —


Delivery Method:
Via Express Delivery
Product:
Food & Beverages

Recipient:
Recipient Name
Ms. Cecilia Alvarez
Recipient Title
Owner
Cecilia Alvarez

409 E Geranium Ave
McAllen, TX 78501-1518
United States

Issuing Office:
Division of Southwest Imports

United States


November 22, 2022

WARNING LETTER

Re: CMS# 643706

Dear Ms. Cecilia (NMI) Alvarez:

From July 26, 2022 to July 28, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) inspection of Cecilia Alvarez located at 409 E. Geranium Ave., McAllen, TX 78501-1518. We also conducted an FSVP inspection from April 21, 2020 to April 23, 2020. These inspections were conducted to determine compliance with the requirements of section 805 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 384a) and the implementing FSVP regulation in 21 CFR part 1, subpart L.

The FSVP regulation requires that importers perform certain risk-based activities to verify that human and/or animal food they import into the United States has been produced in a manner that meets applicable U.S. food safety standards. You may find information relating to the FSVP regulation and your responsibilities to comply with the regulation through links in FDA’s FSVP web page at https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-modernization-act-fsma/fsma-final-rule-foreign-supplier-verification-programs-fsvp-importers-food-humans-and-animals.

During the most recent inspection, we found that you are not in compliance with the requirements of 21 CFR part 1, subpart L for the foods you import. Because of these significant violations, you are not in compliance with section 805 of the FD&C Act.

At the conclusion of the inspection, our investigator provided you with a Form FDA 483a, FSVP Observations. We have not received your response to the Form FDA 483a issued on July 28, 2022.

Your significant violations of the FSVP regulation are as follows:

You did not develop, maintain, and follow an FSVP, as required by section 805 of the FD&C Act and 21 CFR 1.502(a). Specifically, you did not develop an FSVP for any foods that you import, including the following foods:

  • Potato Chips and Cookies imported from foreign supplier (b)(4) located in (b)(4)
  • Corn Chips imported from foreign supplier (b)(4) located in (b)(4)

The above violations are not intended to be an all-inclusive list of violations of the FSVP requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in compliance with section 805 of the FD&C Act and the implementing regulation in 21 CFR part 1, subpart L.

Additionally, we offer the following comments:
During our most recent inspection, our investigator noted your firm may qualify as a “very small importer” under 21 CFR 1.500. If you meet the definition, you are still required to follow FSVP requirements, but you may choose to comply with the modified requirements in 21 CFR 1.512. If you choose to comply with such modified requirements, you must document that you meet the definition of “very small importer” on an annual basis as required per 21 CFR 1.512(b)(1)(i).

In addition, we note, as a very small importer, for each food you import, you must obtain written assurance, in accordance with 21 CFR 1.512(b)(3), before importing the food and at least every two years thereafter, that your foreign supplier is producing the food in compliance with processes and procedures that provide at least the same level of public health protection as those required under section 418 or 419 of the FD&C Act, if either is applicable, and the implementing regulations, and is producing the food in compliance with sections 402 and 403(w) (if applicable) of the FD&C Act. You may find information on documenting your eligibility as a very small importer and the other requirements under 21 CFR 1.512 in the “Draft Guidance for Industry Foreign Supplier Verification Programs for Imports of Food for Human and Animals at: https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/search-fda-guidance-documents/draft-guidance-industry-foreign-supplier-verification-programs-importers-food-humans-and-animals.

This letter notifies you of our concerns and provides you an opportunity to address them. If you do not adequately address this matter, we may take further action. For instance, we may take action under section 801(a)(3) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 381(a)(3)) to refuse admission of the food you import for which you appear to be in violation of section 805. We may place the foods you import into the United States on Detention Without Physical Examination (DWPE) when you import the foods. You can find DWPE information relating to FSVP in Import Alert # 99-41 at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cms_ia/ialist.html. In addition, the importation or offering for importation into the United States of an article of food without the importer having an FSVP that meets the requirements of section 805 of the FD&C Act or the FSVP regulation is prohibited under section 301(zz) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 331(zz)).

You should respond in writing within fifteen (15) working days from your receipt of this letter. Your response should address the specific things you are doing to correct any violations. You should include in your response documentation and information that would assist us in evaluating your corrections, (e.g., documentation of changes you made, such as a copy of your FSVP, records to demonstrate implementation of your FSVP), and any additional information that you wish to supply relevant to your compliance with the FSVP regulation. If you believe that you are not in violation of the FD&C Act, include your reasoning and any supporting information for our consideration. If you cannot complete all corrections within 15 working days, you should explain the reason for your delay and state when you will correct any remaining violations.

Please send your reply to Food and Drug Administration, Attention: Juan Daniel Garza III, Compliance Officer, US FDA, 216 W. Village Blvd., Suite 107, Laredo, TX 78041. If you have any questions regarding this letter, you may contact CO Garza via email at juan.garza@fda.hhs.gov. Please reference CMS# 643706 on any documents or records you provide to us and/or within the subject line of any email correspondence you send to us.

Sincerely,
/S/

Todd Cato
Division Director
Division of Southwest Imports

 
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