The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will inspect Việtnam’s pangasius quality control system in the next few months, the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department said (NAFIQAD).
In early March, NAFIQAD received a letter dated February 28, 2018 from FSIS announcing that FSIS has completed its review of Việtnam’s self-reporting tools (SRT). FSIS determined that the country’s documented inspection system of controls appears to provide an equivalent level of public health protection as that applied domestically in the US. FSIS would also conducts its own inspections of Việt Nam’s reports in the next few months. The specific day that the inspection will be implemented would be announced by FSIS later, the NAFIQAD said.
According to the US inspection programme for siluriformes, including pangasius, Việt Nam’s pangasius products exported to the US will be strictly controlled from the stages of raising and harvesting to processing and packaging.
In the past, NAFIQAD has co-operated with relevant agencies under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, VASEP and pangasius exporters to provide over 2,000 pages answering questionnaires under the SRT policies of the US catfish inspection programme.
In preparation for receiving the FSIS delegation of inspecting siluriformes production in Việt Nam, NAFIQAD has required enterprises processing siluriformes for export to the US to continue implementing US regulations. The enterprises must make timely reports to the ministry and relevant agencies of their difficulties when exporting siluriformes to the US in order to quickly develop solutions, said NAFIQAD director Nguyễn Như Tiệp. Meanwhile, the enterprises must coordinate with NAFIQAD to develop a specific working plan with the FSIS’ inspection delegation. Furthermore, the enterprises must continue to upgrade their quality assurance system to ensure that products do not contain microorganisms or antibiotic residues.
The strict control would avoid the situation in which products arrive in the US but fail to pass inspection and are returned, damaging the business of the enterprises as well as the prestige of Vietnamese pangasius, he said.