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Assessment Report of Costa Rica's Food Safety Control System for Fresh Fruit
7.0 Implementation of food safety controls and government oversight at the farms, packers and exporters

The assessment team focused on verifying the implementation of the following GAP and GHP/GMP elements:

The assessment team visited three farm and packing facilities. The products for these facilities included melons, papayas and pineapples.

The CFIA team observed that the facilities were committed to the implementation of food safety practices and, that they have 3rd party food safety certifications, such as Global GAP. Although these were a common requirement for trade, they are not a government requirement.

The CFIA team noted the following about the three facilities.

All the packing facilities visited had a sanitary permit, but the period of validity varied from 1 to 5 years. Facility staff indicated that the MOH may visit their facility for other reasons such as inspecting Zika virus controls or, if they receive a complaint about the facility. However, no evidence of such visits were observed at the facilities (verbal only).

Several operations also have on-site medical staff. If they determine that an employee should not work, the employee is referred to the local municipal clinic where treatment is provided. Employees cannot return to work until they have been cleared to do so by the local clinic and/or the resident medical personnel.

The packing facilities visited were major exporters to countries including Canada, USA, Japan and Europe. The facilities were aware of the export requirements of their products including registration with PROCOMER and the single window system. The facilities had an exporting code as required by MAG and were aware of the requirements for obtaining a certificate for export.

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