FSIS recently advised that The Netherlands had been reinstated to export pasteurized egg products to the United States. Through a rigorous process of verification by FSIS of The Netherlands government inspection system, FSIS has determined that the country’s food safety system continues to be equivalent to that of the U.S., which ensures that product is safe, wholesome and properly labeled.
The Netherlands first was found equivalent to export pasteurized egg products in 1987, but chose to stop exporting these products for several years. Last year, The Netherlands requested reinstatement in order to export pasteurized egg products to the U.S. Therefore, in order to ensure that the government inspection system was still capable of ensuring equivalent protection as that provided by the FSIS system, FSIS performed a reassessment of the laws, regulations, and inspection procedures maintained by The Netherlands, and conducted an on-site audit on June 2-26, 2014.
An FSIS audit of a foreign government’s inspection system generally is focused on performance within the following six equivalence components: (1) Government Oversight, (2) Statutory Authority and Food Safety Regulations, (3) Sanitation, (4) HACCP System, (5) Chemical Residue Programs, and (6) Microbiological Testing Programs. The document review and the on-site audit confirmed that The Netherlands’ processed egg products inspection system continues to be equivalent and to employ the necessary verification activities to result in safe product.
A report, “Final Report of On-site Reinstatement of Equivalence Audit Conducted in The Netherlands” describing the outcome of the verification audit is available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/importing-products/eligible-countries-products-foreign-establishments/foreign-audit-reports.