By Laurel Maloy, contributing writer, Food Online
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has concluded South Korea’s poultry processing establishments are inspected on the same level as those in the U.S.
South Korea has been added to the list of countries approved to export poultry products to the U.S. In progress since 2005, when South Korea requested approval to export two types of ginseng chicken stew, the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) evaluation is complete.
FSIS performed two audits and submitted two corrective action plans to ensure South Korean poultry processing plants are up to U.S. operational requirements. The Federal Register Notice, published Wednesday, March 26, states that the Republic of Korea’s poultry laws, regulations, and inspection system are in line with the United States’ Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA).
All food imports, regardless of USDA Export Verification (EV), are subject to FSIS inspection at ports of entry. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has put in place new import authorities and mandates, to include:
- Importer Accountability — Importers have explicit responsibility to ensure their foreign suppliers have safe food practices in place
- Third Party Certification — A program will be established through which qualified third parties can certify to the efficacy of a facility and its compliance with U.S. food safety standards
- High Risk Food Certification — A condition of entry into the U.S. will be certification by a credible and FDA approved authority
- Voluntary Qualified Importer Program — This program will provide importers with an expedited review and entry from pre-certified facilities
- Authority to Deny Entry — In the event the FDA is denied access to a foreign facility, the agency has the right to refuse entry of its products into the U.S.
The final rule for export of poultry products from the Republic of Korea to the U.S. is effective May 27, 2014.