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Final report of an Audit of Mexico's Meat Inspection Systems Governing the Production of Meat and Meat Products for Export to Canada – March 19 to April 02, 2019

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Abbreviations and special terms used in the report

CFIA
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
CCA
Central Competent Authority
DETIF
Directorate of Federal Inspection Type
DGSA
General Head Office of Animal Health
HACCP
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points.
MVRATIF
Authorized Veterinary Medical Officials
MRL
Maximum Residue Limit
MVO
Veterinary Medical Official
NOM
Mexican Official Standard
OTM
Over Thirty Months
SADER
Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development
SRM
Specified Risk Material
SENASICA
National Service for Sanitary, Food Safety and Food Quality
TIF
Federal Inspection Type establishment
UTM
Under Thirty Months

Executive summary

This report describes the outcome of an initial audit of the caprine and ovine and maintenance audit of the bovine and swine meat inspection systems of Mexico. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducted an onsite audit during the period of March 19 to April 2, 2019.

The objective of the audit was to verify if Mexico is implementing a meat inspection system equivalent to that of Canada, and if that system is capable of producing safe, unadulterated, and properly labelled meat products for export to Canada. The audit scope included visits to the central competent authority (CCA) headquarter in Mexico City, regional office and slaughter and processing establishments located in different regions of Mexico.

The audit covered activities within the following subject areas:

Overall, the audit results showed that meat inspection systems governing the production of bovine and swine meat and meat products and processed meat products in Mexico are performing as intended in an adequate manner and demonstrated an acceptable implementation of controls for all areas described above.

In January 2020, the CCA confirmed that the audited caprine and ovine slaughter establishment is no longer interested to export goat meat to Canada. Therefore, the CCA didn't provide an action plan to rectify the CFIA findings observed at this establishment. Following the review of the findings related to the government oversight, sanitation, post-mortem, HACCP, building maintenance and animal welfare at the audited caprine and ovine slaughter establishment, the CFIA is unable to conclude that Mexico's caprine and ovine meat inspection system is equivalent to that of Canada at this time. A follow-up onsite audit will be required to complete the review of caprine and ovine meat inspection system.

1 Introduction

1.1 Background

Mexico is currently allowed to export bovine (including farmed bison), and swine (including farmed wild boar) meat and meat products to Canada. Earlier, the CFIA conducted audit of Mexico's meat inspection systems in 2006 and 2010.

1.2 Audit objective, scope, and methodology

The audit covered verification of activities within the following subject areas:

The CFIA auditors reviewed administrative functions at the CCA headquarters and a state supervisory office. The auditors evaluated regulatory framework, oversight framework, enforcement framework, training framework, export controls and import controls. The representatives from the CCA accompanied the auditors throughout the audit.

Table 1: Summary of audit scope
Competent authority/establishment Number of sites visited Location
Opening and closing meetings – CCA headquarters 1 Mexico City
State supervisory office 1 Veracruz
Processing establishment 1 Sonora
Bovine slaughter, cutting and boning establishments 3 Veracruz
San Luis Potosí
Pork slaughter, cutting and boning establishment 1 Yucatán
Caprine and ovine slaughter establishment 1 Sonora

1.3 Audit objective, scope, and methodology

The CFIA conducted audit under the specific provisions of Canadian laws and regulations, in particular:

The audit was conducted in a manner consistent with conventional program delivery audit standards to assess the consistency of CCA's inspection activities with the Mexican and Canadian regulatory requirements and specifications.

2 Competent authority and oversight

2.1 Regulatory framework

The Federal Animal Health Act covers the slaughter of animals and processing of products of animal origin for human consumption. This act also covers the animal welfare and good manufacturing practices applicable to the primary production and Federal Inspection Type establishment (TIF). The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development issues the Official Standards under the Federal Animal Health Act. The key relevant Official Standards are:

Conclusion

The competent authority has an adequate regulatory framework to make sure of the development, planning and implementation of meat inspection system.

2.2 Oversight framework

Mexico's meat inspection system is organized into 3 levels: central, state and establishment. The National Service for Sanitary, Food Safety and Food Quality (SENASICA) is a decentralized administrative body of the Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER). The SENASICA acts as a Central Competent Authority. The Directorate of Federal Inspection Type Facilities (DETIF) provides direct oversight to the Federal Inspection Type (TIF) establishments that produce meat and meat products for domestic and international market.

Mexico is divided into 32 federal entities. At regional level, the State supervisors are directly under the supervision of DETIF. The State supervisors supervise the establishments and are responsible for verification of export requirements, enforcement implementation, pathogen reduction and residues sampling program. The State supervisory visits are done on a monthly basis as per the Mexican requirements.

In Veracruz State, the monthly supervisory visits weren't conducted for 4 months prior to the onsite audit. The samples for official microbiological sampling program weren't collected in January and February, 2019 at audited establishments in Veracruz and San Luis Potosí states.

The TIF establishment's team is composed of one Official Medical Veterinarian (MVO) employed and paid by SENASICA and Authorized Veterinary Medical Officials (MVRATIF) contracted by a third-party organization and paid by the operator. The MVRATIF works under the direct supervision of the MVO and perform all inspection tasks except signing the export certificates.

Both the MVO and the MVRATIF are responsible for daily ante-mortem inspection, post-mortem inspection, and verification of the implementation and effectiveness of Good Manufacturing Procedures (GMP), HACCP, Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP), official sampling and export certification activities. At the audited processing TIF establishments, a MVO was present during operations and was responsible for verification of the compliance of the raw material, GMP, SSOP, HACCP and official sampling.

Conclusion

Government oversight was in place to verify the implementation of meat inspection systems as described in the Federal Animal Health Act.

The CFIA noted that monthly supervisory visits for four months and official microbiological sampling weren't performed at audited slaughter TIF establishments in the State of Veracruz and San Luis Potosí.

2.3 Training framework

The MVO and the MVRATIF perform the inspection and verification tasks related to the production and processing of meat and meat products. As stipulated in the Federal Animal Health Act and Professional Career Service Law, the MVO and the State supervisor must receive at least 40 hours per year of continuing education and undergo an evaluation of their professional abilities at least once every 5 years. The MVRATIF must complete at least 16 hours of continuing education per year to obtain a new authorisation offered by SENASICA and it is valid for 2 years.

AS audited, MVO completed the training as per the Mexican requirements. The MVO's training was given by SENASICA and various universities.

Conclusion

The CCA has a regulatory framework to train the human resources involved in the planning, development and implementation of meat inspection systems.

2.4 Export controls

The SENASICA registers the TIF establishments eligible for export of meat and meat products to Canada. The operator makes an application to SENASICA for issuance of the export certificate. Thereafter, SENASICA's official reviews the documents and conducts final inspection of product and transport container. Export health certificate is then printed and issued by the MVO assigned to the export establishment. The copy of the export health certificates, seals and stamps are kept under lock and control of MVO.

The Canadian import requirements are electronically available to the OVM. However, in few cases, the MVO was unable to retrieve the Canadian export requirements. Furthermore, SENASICA sends email notifications to the State supervisors. As audited, the State supervisor communicated the updated Canadian import requirements to the MVO and operator via email. The bilingual labelling (English and French) requirement for consumer prepackaged meat product for export to Canada wasn't implemented at all audited establishments as stipulated in the Canadian requirements for bilingual food labelling.

At the audited establishments, labels were either only in English or English and Spanish for products intended for export to Canada.

Conclusion

The bilingual labelling (English and French) requirement for consumer prepackaged food meat product for export to Canada wasn't implemented at all audited establishments as per the Canadian requirements.

The CCA has a regulatory framework to train the human resources involved in the planning, development and implementation of meat inspection systems.

2.5 Import controls

The SENASICA is responsible for negotiating certification and export requirements. The SENASICA assess the foreign country's meat inspection system and give the approval for establishments eligible to export to Mexico. The importing products and live animals are inspected at their arrival at the points of entry, ports and airports as required in the Federal Law of Animal Health Article 32 to 36. The Official staff of the Secretariat is responsible for import inspection at the point of entry. No border inspection points, ports or airports were visited during this audit

Conclusion

Regulatory import controls are in place to make sure that only the importation of eligible meat and meat products entered in Mexico.

No border inspection points, ports or airports were visited during this audit.

2.6 Enforcement framework

Non-compliance related to food production, humane treatment and transportation of animals are sanctioned according to provisions of the Federal Animal Health Act (Article 1, 2, 167, 168 and 169) and the Federal Weights, Measures and Standardization Act. The MVO and the MVRATIF have the legal power at the establishments to suspend or stop the production and certification activities, detain animals, products and equipment.

Conclusion

The competent authority has an adequate regulatory enforcement framework and statutory power in place to carry out the officials controls meat inspection systems.

3 Ante-mortem, humane handling and animal welfare controls

3.1 Animal identification

The Federal Law of Animal Health provides legal basis for the implementation of traceability systems for animals and products of animal origin. The livestock production units are registered in the National Livestock Census managed by SADER. As per National Cattle Individual Identification System (SINIIGA), and the NOM001-SAG/GAN-2015, bovine are individually identified. The individual identification is a unique and permanent number assigned to the animal (birth or at importation) and remains active until death or slaughter of animal. Other animals such as sheep and goat have official documents to ensure the traceability.

As audited, the cattle were individually identified. However, caprine weren't identified individually at the farm. After receiving at the slaughter establishment, caprine were identified by documents as a lot for traceability purposes. The individual animal identification other than bovine National Animal Identification System for Bovines for other animal species will be incorporated in future.

3.2 Ante-mortem and humane handling controls

As described in the NOM-009-ZOO-1994, the MVO or MVRATIF conducts the ante-mortem inspection within 24 hours before slaughter. The ante-mortem inspection includes the physical check of the animal and document review. The veterinarian signs off the ante-mortem inspection and slaughter authorization inspection cards prior to slaughtering of animals. The operator segregates all suspect animals for further inspection. The operator at the audited slaughter establishments had an animal welfare officer responsible to develop and implement the animal welfare program.

At the audited swine slaughter establishment, the compromised and non-ambulatory pigs were moved with a cart to the emergency stunning area at the slaughter floor without being stunned in the pen. The non-ambulatory bovine is stunned on site, and the dead or non-ambulatory bovines weren't permitted for slaughter.

The stunning was done by using mechanical or electrical stunning techniques. The operator's animal welfare officer and SENASICA monitored the effectiveness of the stunning techniques on a daily basis.

The CFIA auditors observed halal ritual slaughter at the caprine slaughterhouse. The ritual cut wasn't always a single fluid, uninterrupted cut of the neck. At the time of the audit, the SENASICA was aware of the recurrence of the non-compliance, but didn't take any immediate corrective actions. Furthermore, regulatory requirements weren't available to prevent the undue suffering of animals exposed to ritual slaughter.

Conclusion

Animal identification, ante-mortem, humane handling and animal welfare controls were completed as stipulated in the Federal Animal Health Law and the NOM-009-ZOO-1994 and NOM-O51-ZOO-1995 except below identified deficiencies:

  • the caprine and ovine identification requirements weren't implemented at the time of the audit
  • the operator didn't perform stunning of compromised and non-ambulatory pigs in the pens or at unloading rather allowed moving of such animals with carts to stunning area
  • for caprine and ovine subjected to ritual slaughter, the ritual cut wasn't always a single fluid, uninterrupted cut of the neck. Furthermore, regulatory requirements weren't available to prevent the undue suffering of animals exposed to ritual slaughter.

4 Slaughter and post-mortem controls

The sequential numbers were used to identify each carcass prior to entry of the carcass into the evisceration room. These numbers were recorded in the Information Technology system. The operator monitored the correlation between the carcass, red/white viscera and head, while the official veterinarian verified the correlation.

The post-mortem inspection of the bovine, swine and caprine carcasses and parts was completed as stipulated in the NOM-009-ZOO-1994. The official veterinarian at the carcass station located before the final wash was responsible to make sure of the wholesomeness and suitability of carcass and its parts for human consumption. The palpation, incision, visual inspection was generally used to detect pathologies and defects on the head, tongue, kidneys, red and white offals. The carcass with local pathologies and defects were marked and railed out or trimmed directly on the evisceration line. After trimming of the local pathologies and defect, the official veterinarian re-verified the carcass and allowed the carcass to bear the health mark before entering the chiller.

A CCP was used to control the presence of fecal, ingesta and milk before the final wash. The operator monitored 100 % of the carcasses before the end of the evisceration room. The SENASICA official veterinarian verified the number of carcasses as stipulated in Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) directive # 6420.2 rev.1 of 2017.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) recognizes Mexico as a negligible BSE risk status. Only bovine born and raised in Mexico were slaughtered at the audited establishments. The operator verified the animal's age at the head station and verified animal teeth to determine if the animal was under (UTM) or over 30 months of age (OTM). The operator identified and segregated SRM. The SRM is shipped for domestic market for human consumption or sent to a rendering facility.

Auditors noted deficiencies related to SRM removal and identification at bovine TIF establishments. The distal ileum wasn't completely removed at one of the TIF establishments. The OTM carcasses were only identified with green ink at the end of front legs resulting in difficulty to identify carcasses in the cooling area.

The CFIA auditors observed the presence of contamination (fecal, hair and foreign material) on the bovine, caprine and swine carcasses present in the coolers. The employees at the evisceration line were scraping the contamination instead of trimming at the caprine slaughter establishment. Auditors noted systemic presence of hair and fecal contamination on the caprine carcasses at and after the zero tolerance station. The operator zero tolerance monitoring documents demonstrated that the carcass was free of contamination but contamination was actually present during the audit.

The inspection legend (health stamp) marked on the carcass was not readable at all the slaughter establishments visited. The auditors noted that the official inspection of caprine carcasses didn't include the incision of the lymph nodes when needed as stipulated in the program.

Conclusion

Post-mortem inspection for bovines, swine and poultry were completed as per the regulation NOM-009-ZOO-1994.

Systemic presence of hair and fecal contamination on the caprine carcasses at and after the zero tolerance station was noted.

The CFIA auditors noted deficiencies related to SRM removal and identification at bovine TIF establishments.

5 Processing controls

5.1 Antimicrobial controls

In Mexico, there is no specific regulation to regulate the use of microbial intervention. The use of microbial intervention depends on international norms and the export requirements of the foreign countries such as EU, USA and Canada.

The antimicrobial agents currently approved for use in Mexico are lactic acid, acetic acid, citric acid and per acetic acid. These agents are used for the final washing of carcasses at the end of the evisceration line and as microbiological control for products fallen on the floor. The concentration of the antimicrobial agents during operations is controlled using a control point.

Conclusion

Antimicrobial agents' usage during the production of meat and meat products meets Canadian requirements.

5.2 Chilling and freezing controls

As described in NOM-008-ZOO-1994, the maximum refrigeration temperature shall be 4°C and optimal temperature within freezer areas shall be at least -18°C. At the audited establishments, chilling and freezing controls were implemented as per the requirements.

Conclusion

Chilling and freezing controls were implemented as prescribed in the NOM-008-ZOO-1994.

5.3 Retained water control program

The Mexican national legislation didn't establish requirements related to retained water control program for bovine, caprine and swine. The auditors observed the use of air chilling at the audited bovine, swine and caprine slaughter establishments. However, common steps like final carcass wash, antimicrobial treatment with solutions of bactericides have a potential to promote the retention of water. The Canadian requirements require slaughter establishments to complete the annual validation for retained water.

Conclusion

The audited slaughter establishments didn't complete the annual validation for retained water as per the Canadian requirements for Retained Water in Carcasses and Carcass Parts.

5.4 Allergen control program

The periodic verification of the allergens is included in the "Mexican manual of inspection and verification of the food safety system for the official inspection personnel" at the exporting TIF establishment. The operator's allergen control procedure included all Canadian priority food allergens. The allergens were indicated in the list of ingredients on the label for meat products to be exported to Canada. The allergen control program was implemented and verified at the audited establishments.

Conclusion

The operator developed and implemented the allergen control program as required by the NOM-051-SCFI/SSA1-2010 and NOM-009-ZOO-1994 and included the Canadian list of allergens.

5.5 Lethality treatment

The CFIA visited one processing establishment producing non-ready-to-eat meat product. The products are considered as ready-to cook and were frozen. Most of the non-ready-to-eat meat products are stuffed meat products such as meat cabbage roll, enchiladas, quesadillas, and taquitos. The source of the meat used for stuffing is only from Canadian and American establishments eligible to export to Canada.

The meat stuffing is cooked in the bag in a horizontal autoclave or in boiler. The cooking step is validated, monitored and verified using a CCP. After cooking, meat products are at once frozen in the blast freezer in a blast freezer at -37°C for 40 minutes.

Conclusion

Non-ready-to-eat meat products were adequately produced under the conditions stipulated the Federal Animal Health Act and NOM -008-ZOO-1994

6 Preventive control plans

As required by the Federal Animal Health Act chapter II article 18, the TIF establishments do a risk analysis, establish critical control points, operating procedures and sanitation standards. As audited in slaughter and processing establishments, the operator established and implemented the HACCP and pre-requisites program. The SENASICA verifies the daily implementation of HACCP and pre-requisite program controls. The SENASICA ensures satisfactory levels of compliance with Mexican requirements by verification of sanitation, HACCP and pre-requisite programs.

In Mexico, the different elements of HACCP and pre-requisite programs are implemented at the slaughter, processing and storage establishments. The CFIA auditors noted deficiencies related to elements of HACCP and prerequisite programs at slaughter and processing establishments. These deficiencies included condensation over the exposed meat and meat products, rusty overheads in various areas of establishments, worn out/broken food contact surfaces, debris in the various areas of establishments, and inconsistent monitoring and recording of CCPs and implementation of good hygienic practices. The CFIA auditors also noticed that the monitoring frequency of CCPs was not adequate to control the hazard such as presence of contamination and defects on the carcasses in cooling rooms.

Conclusion

Preventive control plans were generally implemented as stipulated in the Federal Animal Health Act and NOM -008-ZOO-1994.

Various deficiencies such as building maintenance, and inconsistent monitoring and recording of CCP and implementation of sanitation and good hygienic practices were noted.

7 Microbiological controls

The microbiological controls include self-monitoring by the food business operator and official sampling by SENASICA. At the slaughter and meat processing establishments visited, the operator tested carcasses and meat products on a daily, weekly or monthly basis following the FSIS sampling frequency specific to the type of product. The bovine and swine carcasses were tested for generic E. coli and Salmonella spp using sponge method as per the frequency prescribed by FSIS. The meat and meat products derived from bovine and are considered as precursor material for the preparation of finished raw ground meat were tested for the presence of E. coli O157:H7/NM according to procedures described in Control Measures for Escherichia coli O157:H7/NM in Raw Beef Products. The testing laboratory method used to test the E.coli 0157:H7/NM. The FSIS methods AOAC 031002 and 091301 were used to test the E. coli 0157:H7/NM. The caprine and swine carcasses were tested for generic E. coli and Salmonella.

The processing establishment producing non-ready-to-eat meat products implements microbiological monitoring plan for meat products and environment. The operator completes sampling for Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella for all type of meat products and E. coli 0157:H7 for bovine meat products during the day of production. The product remains at the establishment until receipt of negative results. The operator completes environmental swab sampling on twice a month basis for the detection Listeria monocytogenes.

For official sampling, the SENASICA develops microbiological sampling program annually. The official microbiological sampling program monitors and detects pathogenic or indicator microorganisms to meet the international regulations applicable to the TIF establishments authorized to export meat and meat products. The targeted micro-organisms are E. coli O157:H7, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella spp.

The SENASICA gives official annual microbiological sampling program to each State supervisor for distribution to the respective TIF establishments. The MVO or MVRATIF completes sampling and submit the samples to accredited laboratories. In case of non-compliances, MVO, State supervisor and food business operator receives notification from the laboratories. The follow-up actions include suspension of the export certification, and root cause analysis and appropriate corrective actions. The samples for official microbiological sampling program weren't collected at 3 slaughter establishments in 2 Mexican states in January and February 2019.

Conclusion

Microbiological control programs were implemented as per the requirements. However, samples for official microbiological sampling program weren't collected at 3 slaughter establishments in 2 Mexican states in January and February 2019.

8 Chemical residue controls

The SENASICA implements national residues control program to monitor, prevent and control toxic residues and pollutants in animal products. The number of samples depends upon the slaughter volume and type. The Central office of SENASICA develops and send sampling schedule to the State supervisor. The MVO and MVRATIF do the sampling as per the sampling plan. The National Center for Animal Health Monitoring Services (CENAPA) laboratories conduct testing and analysis. Appropriate follow-up was completed in response to the non-compliant results.

In Canada, imported meat products are subjected to routine monitoring for chemical residues. The results are assessed and must meet the Canadian maximum residue limits. The maximum residue limits for veterinary drug residues are established by Health Canada.

Conclusion

The national chemical residue monitoring program was developed and implemented as stipulated in the SENASICA program and required in the Federal Animal Health Act.

9 Closing meeting

The closing meeting was held at the SENASICA headquarter in Mexico City on April 02, 2019. At the meeting, the CFIA lead auditor presented a summary of audit preliminary establishments and systemic findings.

10 Conclusions

Overall, the audit results showed that meat inspection system governing the production of bovine and swine meat and meat products and processed meat products in Mexico are performing as intended in an adequate manner and demonstrated an acceptable implementation of controls for all areas.

In January 2020, the CCA confirmed that the audited caprine and ovine slaughter establishment is no longer interested to export caprine and ovine meat to Canada. Therefore, the CCA didn't provide an action plan to rectify the CFIA findings observed at this establishment. Following the review of the findings related to the government oversight, sanitation, post-mortem, HACCP, building maintenance and animal welfare at the audited caprine and ovine slaughter establishment, the CFIA is unable to conclude that Mexico's caprine and ovine meat inspection system is equivalent to that of Canada at this time. A follow-up onsite audit will be required to complete the review of caprine and ovine meat inspection system.

11 Recommendations

The recommendations are linked to the specific conclusions made during this report.

CFIA recommendations MAPA actions plans/comments

CFIA recommends that all establishment-specific findings be corrected and verified in a timely manner

October 21, 2019:

The TIF establishments followed up on the specific observations, and corrective and preventative actions have been established, and been verified by SENASICA officials with a majority of satisfactory results

January 24, 2020:

The specific findings were sent through official letters to each one of the audited establishments and the information was validated by the official personnel.

SENASICA sent the Corrective and Preventive Actions Verification forms for each establishments audited except the establishment TIF 118 that is no longer interested to import goat meat in Canada.

The CFIA recommends that the supervisory visit frequency be maintained as per the Mexican requirements

January 24, 2020:

SENASICA send instruction to the supervisory official personnel to perform follow-up through the Supervision Computing System (SIS) and to prepare weekly report of the establishments that weren't visited.

April 14, 2020:

Annex to the official letter B00.04.-1096-2020 Canada Audit Report

SENASICA instructed Supervisors, Official Veterinary and Authorized Responsible, through Circular No 007-2020 dated February 4 2020, to follow up on the findings derived from administrative verification and inspection visits and International audits, as well as the tasks generated in the Supervisory Computer System (SIS), providing the methodology through which compliance must be carried out.

On the other hand, they were instructed to carry out the annual documentary verification of the POES, HACCP, Microbiological Programs and Toxic Waste, Prerequisites and animal welfare procedures, as well as to carry out the follow-up through the SIGETIF platform, the above through Circular No 006-2020 and Official Letter No B00.04.01. 275-2020, dated February 4 and 12, 2020 respectively

SENASICA provide the documentary support:

  • Circular No 006-2020 of February 4, 2020
  • Circular No 007-2020 of February 4, 2020
  • Official Letter No B00.04.01. 275-2020 of February 12, 2020

The CFIA recommends that the consumer prepackaged meat and meat products exported to Canada be labelled in both French and English as per the Canadian requirements

October 21, 2019:

SENASICA request clarifications about the bilingual requirement for labels

January 24, 2020:

The SENASICA sent to the establishments authorized to export to Canada the requirements for the labeling of meat products in French and English, through Notice 0095-2019. Official personnel was also instructed through Notice No 100-2019 to perform the labeling verification activities through the platform SIGETIF.

The CFIA recommends that:

  • caprine identification is implemented as per the Mexican requirements
  • the non-ambulatory pigs aren't allowed to be moved prior to stunning
  • the regulatory requirements are available to prevent the undue suffering of animals exposed to ritual slaughter
  • the ritual slaughter of caprine is performed by a single fluid, uninterrupted cut of the neck to prevent the undue pain and suffering

October 21, 2019 and January 24, 2020:

SENASICA confirm that the National Animal Identification System for Bovines, Hives and for other animal species as caprine and ovine will be implemented in the future. Till then, animals from different species have the official documents which make sure of the traceability of their origin and provenance.

January 24, 2020:

The Animal Welfare Manual of the establishment TIF 152 is updated, implemented and establishes the use of the bolt gun for emergency slaughter for non ambulatory hogs, additional training was given regarding the matter.

January 24, 2020:

To deal with the observation about ritual slaughter (Halal) TIF establishment 118 modified the Quality Control Program which establishes the beheading requirements for Halal slaughter and a slaughterer certificate is provided. The containment cage was modified for a better management of the animal during slaughter.

The knifes will be sharpened every 20 slaughtered animals to make sure of their optimal to prevent the undue pain and suffering.

April 14, 2020 regarding ritual slaughter of caprine:

SENASICA clarifies that not all establishments eligible to export to Canada perform ritual slaughter, the observation derived from one establishment that was considered for the process of expansion of equivalence for the export of meat of sheep and goats with ritual slaughter.

However, it is made known that there are the necessary regulations that mandate compliance with animal welfare, which are intended to prevent the suffering of animals. Those regulations are as follows

  • Federal Animal Health Act, articles 1 to 3 and articles 16, 106, 108.
  • Regulation of the Federal Act of Animal Health articles 29, 30
  • Official Mexican Standard NOM-033-SAG / ZOO-2014, "Methods for slaughtering domestic and wild animals
  • Official Mexican Standard NOM-024-ZOO-1995
  • Official Mexican Standard NOM-051-ZOO-1995 Humanitarian treatment in the mobilization of animals and Its main objective is to establish animal mobilization systems that reduce their suffering, avoiding tension or reducing it throughout the process.
  • Mexican Standard NMX-F-595-SCFI-2015 Halal Food. The slaughter of stressed or frightened animals is prohibited" and

8.1.5.2 "In the case of minor cattle and minor species, including poultry and ostriches, a clean and deep cut should be made at the level of the neck, below the throat, which cuts the jugular veins and the trachea, without touching the spine, however sectioning the esophagus is not recommended to avoid contamination of the area with fluids from the digestive tract."

April 14, 2020 regarding the non-ambulatory pigs:

Regarding regulatory requirements to ensure that non-ambulatory pigs cannot move before stunning, it is mentioned in the Official Mexican STANDARD NOM-033-SAG / ZOO-2014, Methods to kill domestic and wild animals. It establishes the methods to kill animals in order to minimize pain, suffering, anxiety and stress and guarantee good levels of well-being

4.5 In the case of animals that are unable to move on their own, they are prohibited from being consciously dragged and they must be stunned in situ, either in pens, corridors or in the vehicle.

8.1. In the event that any wild or domestic animal is injured by accident, natural disaster, neglect or mistreatment causing severe suffering and medical care is not possible, emergency killing must be performed.

The CFIA recommends that

  • all TIF bovine slaughter establishments implement SRM control, identification and segregation program as per the Mexican requirements.
  • the inspection legend (health stamp) marked on the carcasses must be readable
  • adequate controls are in place to make sure that bovine, swine and caprine carcasses are free of fecal, ingesta, milk and foreign material contamination
  • post-mortem inspection of caprine carcasses include the incision of the lymph nodes as stipulated in the written program

January 24, 2020:

SENASICA has an Procedures Manual Identification, Removal and Disposal of Hazardous materials for Specific Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy which is a tool for the DVMs who work on TIF establishments, also to inform that the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) recognized Mexico as a country with an insignificant risk for BSE.

Notice No 0102-2019 was issued to instructs the official personnel in charge of supervision to provide training, perform the evaluation and tasks aimed to the personnel in charge of the post-mortem inspection on the matter.

About the sanitary branding, each establishment has prepared an action plan focused on correcting the finding and ensuring a legible canal sealing. The SENASICA is evaluating processes for the modification of sanitary branding, regarding the established legends.

SENASICA has a Procedure for the Verification of Controls in Fecal, Ingesta and Milk Matters in Slaughter Operations within TIF Establishments. About the observation, Notice No 0104-2019 has been issued on December 06, 2019 which instructs the official personnel in charge of supervision to provide training, perform the evaluation and tasks aimed to the personnel in charge of the post-mortem inspection on zero-tolerance.

Notice No 0103-2019 had been issued on December 06, 2019 to instructs the official personnel in charge of supervision to provide training, perform the evaluation and tasks aimed to the personnel in charge of the post-mortem inspection including ante-mortem.

The CFIA recommends that HACCP and pre-requisite programs are implemented and monitored effectively to correct and prevent following deficiencies:

condensation over the exposed meat and meat products

  • rusty overheads in various areas of establishments
  • broken/worn out food contact surfaces
  • debris in the various areas of the establishments.
  • inconsistent monitoring and recording of CCPs
  • inconsistent implementation of Good Hygienic Practices
  • in-adequate monitoring frequency of CCP to control the hazard such as presence of contamination on the carcasses in chillers

January 24, 2020:

The observations were received by each of the establishments and the information was validated by the official personnel.

SENASICA provided the correctives and preventives actions verification fill-out forms.

The CFIA recommends that all TIF establishments exporting meat and meat products to Canada have a written and validated water retention control program as per the Canadian requirements for retained water in carcasses and carcass parts

January 24, 2020:

The SENASICA shared with the authorized establishments for export to Canada the requirements of the Water Retention Program in Raw Meat Products, through Notice 0096-2019 on December 02, 2019.

The Canadian requirements for retained water in carcasses and carcass parts were sent to the official personnel for its verification through Notice 0101-2019 on December 4, 2019.

The CFIA recommends that official microbiological sampling program is implemented at all slaughter and processing establishments as per the Mexican requirements

January 24, 2020:

The official sampling program was implemented since 2008, each year the corresponding notices are issued to begin the sampling; however, during the last trimester, due to administrative matters and government transition, the Program was affected only for the detection of E. coli O157:H7 and STEC; during the last semester of the year and the first semester of 2019, which was an extraordinary case and the necessary measures to prevent this atypical situation were taken. It is worth clarifying that the Pathogens Reduction Program applies to all of them.

April 14, 2020:

SENASICA is in the process of updating procedure PR-TF-SM-11 for the Official Verification of control activities for E. coli O157: H7, Escherichia coli producing Toxin SHIGA (STEC) and Salmonella spp.

In raw beef products, this procedure, an "Emergency Protocol" (page 44) will be included, which consists of managing the donation of laboratory supplies through the associations and aid agencies with SENASICA to continue with the analysis of the official samples corresponding to this program and not be affected by budget reductions.

Draft Procedure PR-TF-SM-11 provided to the CFIA include the Official Verification of control activities of E. coli O157: H7, Escherichia coli producing shiga toxin (STEC) and Salmonella spp.

The CFIA recommends that:

  • sampling frequency be increased in response to high incidence of non-compliances for certain beta agonists in all species. Some of these (such as clenbuterol and its derivates) aren't permitted in Canada
  • all approved veterinary drugs are included in the monitoring program to make sure that their levels are below MRLs
  • all prohibited substances are monitored adequately in all species

January 24, 2020:

Inclusion and exclusion criteria will be used in establishments where metabolites are found over the national LMR or of prohibited substances, must have at least one monthly sampling throughout the year, which will adjust to the size of the samples promised for 2020.

In TIF establishments the compliance of the requirements for the MRL established by Canada was reinforced, through Notice No 0106/2019 dated December 17, 2019 that included the Health Canada web links for the MRL and the list of banned substances in Canada.

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