FDA issues Import Alert over Mexican papayas
In a release, the FDA said it could "consider five consecutive commercial shipments over a period of time, analyzed from a validated laboratory, as being adequate for removal from the Import Alert."
The move comes after the administration found a 15.6% contamination rate in Mexican papayas entering the U.S., with positive samples from 28 different companies that cover most of the country's papaya-producing regions.
The administration is expanding its collaboration with Mexico's National Service for Agroalimentary Public Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA) and the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS), in a bid to reduce the amount of Salmonella cases in the U.S.
The U.S. and Mexican officials are working together to trace contamination incidents back to the source, discover the causes, develop laboratory methodologies and establish future prevention strategies.
"Collaboration between FDA and the Mexican government in the management of food safety problems is essential to fulfilling our responsibility to consumers in our respective countries," says FDA deputy commissioner for foods Michael Taylor.
"It is equally important that we work together to prevent problems in the first place by implementing sound measures to prevent contamination throughout the chain of production, processing, distribution and sale. FDA is committed to a strong food safety partnership with Mexico."
Taylor's comments were echoed by SENASICA director in chief Enrique Sanchez Cruz.
"I am confident that this joint effort will reduce the risk of contamination of produce moving across our common border," says Cruz.