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

2. Audit Objective, Scope, and Methodology

This was an initial audit of the poultry inspection system and an ongoing equivalence verification audit of the beef meat inspection system with special emphasis on:

  1. Inspection and certification of meat and meat products for export to Canada
  2. Inspection controls in Argentinian slaughter and processing establishments eligible to or willing to export meat and poultry products to Canada. These included following specific elements:
    1. E. coli O157:H7 testing and control measures in raw beef manufacturing facilities
    2. Listeria testing and control measures in Ready to Eat (RTE) meat producing facilities
    3. Abattoir programs related to the suitability of animals presented for slaughter (residue and disease status), humane handling, and the control of evisceration and dressing processes in slaughter establishments.
    4. Food Safety Enhancement Program requirements, e.g., HACCP plans and prerequisite programs
  3. Government oversight.

The CFIA auditor was accompanied throughout the entire audit by representatives from the CCA and from the regional and local inspection offices. Program effectiveness determinations focused on government controls and oversight within five areas of risk: (1) sanitation controls, including the implementation and operation of Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP), (2) animal disease controls, (3) slaughter/processing controls, including the implementation and operation of Hazard Analysis/Critical Control Point (HACCP) programs and controls for the control of FMD (4) chemical residue controls, and (5) enforcement controls, including a government verification testing program for Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes.

Administrative functions were reviewed at CCA headquarters, one district office, and 10 local inspection offices at SENASA registered establishments, during which the auditor evaluated the implementation of those management control systems in place which ensure that the national system of inspection, verification, and enforcement were being implemented as intended.

The CCA selected 10 establishments to be audited, 2 of which are currently eligible to export to Canada. One of the beef slaughter establishments was in the region of Argentina that is classified by the CFIA as free of FMD without vaccination, while the remaining 4 were in the region that is free of FMD with vaccination. All five poultry establishments were chosen out of the list of establishments willing to export poultry meat products to Canada.

During the establishment visits, particular attention was paid to the extent to which industry and the government interact to control hazards and prevent non-compliances that threaten food safety, with an emphasis on the CCA's ability to provide oversight through supervisory reviews.

Table 1: Audit Scope Summary
Competent Authority Visits Number of Sites Visited Locations
Competent Authority: Central Authority 1 Buenos Aires, Argentina
Competent Authority: Regional Office 1 Buenos Aires, Argentina
Poultry Slaughter/Processing Establishments 5 Various locations
Bovine Slaughter / Processing Establishments 5 Various locations
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