Final Report of an Audit Conducted In Argentina September 9th, through September 25th, 2013
Evaluating the Food Safety Systems Governing the Production of Beef And Poultry Meat Products Intended for Export to Canada

12. Conclusions and Recommendations

Overall, the audit of the Central Competent Authority (CAA) indicated an effective organizational structure, facilities, equipment, transportation, communication, personnel, and training of the competent authority, to support objectives of meat and meat product inspection and certification programs for export to Canada.

However, the following issues need to be addressed:

  1. Beef inspection: not all the requirements of Chapter 4, Annex O of the CFIA Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures (MOP) were being followed in all establishments. The Policy described in Annex O or equivalent must be implemented in order to allow the export of raw beef to Canada. The CFIA auditor determined that SENASA is not routinely incising the lateral retropharyngeal lymph node as required. SENASA followed up during the audit to remind field staff of this requirement. Beef grading was not evaluated during this audit.
  2. Poultry Inspection: a major difference was identified during the audit related to the trimming of partially condemned portions. In Canada, all inedible portions are removed prior to the approved carcasses leaving the evisceration room, while in Argentina, carcasses with minor condemnable portions are allowed to leave the evisceration floor and pass into the chilling system where these portions are then removed and discarded. The CFIA desk review had already identified significant differences between the Argentina's and Canada's poultry grading programs, Consequently, CFIA concluded that Argentina's poultry grading program is not equivalent and therefore export of Argentinian poultry with a grade designation cannot be allowed. However, Canada does allow the imports of ungraded poultry if all other requirements are met. This program was not reviewed as part of the on-site audit. Similarly, product standards for poultry mechanically separated meat differ between Argentina and Canada, so companies that intend to export this product will need to meet the CFIA standards. Finally, control of evisceration may need to be standardized through all poultry establishment to ensure that contamination is effectively controlled in all poultry plants.
  3. Compliance and Enforcement Issues: Although the CCA maintains the legal authority and the responsibility to enforce all applicable laws and regulations governing Argentina and third country requirements, the auditor found that these requirements were not consistently applied throughout the system. As such, oversight of the implementation of effective sanitation and establishment operations will need further improvement.

Following the review of the action plans provided by SENASA, Argentina's beef inspection system for slaughter, cutting and processing was determined to meet Canada's requirements and in addition to cooked boneless beef, raw fresh/frozen boneless beef is now approved for export to Canada.

However based on audit observations and review of subsequent action plans from SENASA, Argentina's Poultry inspection system cannot be approved. See "Supplementary response" below-

Supplementary response based on the information received on April 15, 2016

Following the review of the action plans provided by SENASA, it was determined that Argentina's poultry meat inspection system for slaughtering, cutting, and processing meets Canadian requirements: in addition to cooked boneless chicken, fresh/frozen raw boneless chicken is now approved for export to Canada. However, the import of poultry feet is not allowed because the Canadian requirements for this product have not been met.

Documents reviewed by CFIA confirm there are major differences between the Argentina and the Canadian grading poultry system. The CFIA had concluded that the poultry grading program in Argentina is not equivalent to Canada so the CFIA maintains the conclusion that the poultry grading program in Argentina is not equivalent. The import of poultry from Argentina cannot be authorized with a grade designation. Canada allows import of poultry without designation when all other requirements are met.

For mechanically separated poultry meat, the standards in Argentina and Canada are different, so the establishments that intend to export these products must meet Canadian standards.

Refer to Annex 1 for details regarding CFIA recommendations.

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