Food Safety Control at the Farming, Harvesting Stage of Siluriformes fish and its products which exported to the United States market (28-07-2020)

In accordance with the new provisions of the Fisheries Law 2017, Decree 26/2019 / ND-CP dated March 8, 2019 of the Government, the MARD has issued Decision No. 1802/QD- BNN-QLCL dated 22/5/2020 about the "Food Safety Control Program for Siluriformes fish and its products which exported to the United States market”.
Food Safety Control at the Farming, Harvesting Stage of Siluriformes fish and its products which exported to the United States market

This Food Safety Control Program regulates the control conditions and activities of the Vietnamese Competence Authority for Food Safety (FS) conditions at farming facilities, transporting, processing and preserving Siluriformes fish (Catfish) and its products for export to the US market; The program also regulates the registration, verification and certification activities for Catfish shipments to the US market; Application for the following 3 groups: (1) Organizations and individuals for farming, transporting, processing, preserving and exporting catfish to the US market. (2) Competent authorities regarding the control of food safety conditions; appraise and certify the shipment of catfish exported to the US market; (3) The laboratory carries out analysis and testing of food safety criteria for catfish exported to the US market.

Sub-departments of Fisheries, Agro-Forestry-Fishery Quality under the Provincial Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development directly under the Central Government are responsible for controlling the food safety conditions for the whole industry from the stage of raising commercial Catfish to harvest and the transportation process. The Department of Agro-forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance and its subordinate units are responsible for controlling food safety during transportation, processing, storage and export of Catfish as follows: (1) Department of Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance and Sub-Departments in Central and Southern Vietnam appraise the conditions to ensure food safety for processing and preservation establishments for exporting to the United States; (2) Regional Agro-Forestry-Fishery Quality Centers carry out monitoring of food safety assurance conditions during transportation (in case of transportation are under processing facilities), slaughtering/processing, preserving at the establishments and appraised, certified for the catfish shipments to the US market.

 Equipment for control are specialized, distinctive from other tools; good working and maintenance condition; be certified according to regulations; good hygienic condition, guaranteed not to be a source of infection. Laboratories participating in analysis and testing of food safety criteria under this program must be appointed by the department for Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance under the regulations of MARD. Inspectors must be honest, objective and have no economic relationship with the establishments. At the same time, there must be appropriate expertise, capable of carrying out appraisal and control of aquatic food safety, being able to evaluate the implementation of quality management programs according to GMP, SSOP, HACCP; Especially, there must be healthy enough to ensure the completion of the assigned task.


Requirements for Catfish establishments which provide raw materials for processing and exporting to the US market

Casfish establishments which provide raw materials for processing and exporting to the US market must meet the conditions for aquaculture establishments (as prescribed in Clause 1, Article 38 of the 2017 Law on Fisheries and Article 34 Decree No. 26/2019/ ND-CP dated March 8, 2019 of the Government). In addition, a certificate of aquaculture registration is required (according to Article 36 of Decree No. 26/2019/ND-CP dated March 8, 2019).

Farms located in aquaculture areas are sampled in monitoring residues of toxic substances program in aquatic animals and its products (according to Circular No. 31/2015/TT-BNNPTNT dated October 6, 2015 by MARD); Using the breeds produced from the establishments producing which have been quarantined according to regulations; Using feeding products and environmental treatment products for aquaculture a were produced from the establishment that has been granted the certificate of eligibility. In particular, only some kinds of chemicals, probiotics were used in aquaculture  (as prescribed in Appendix 2 of Circular No. 26/2018/TT-BNNPTNT dated November 15, 2018); Using aquatic veterinary drugs were in the list of drugs permitted for circulation according to the instructions as prescribed in Veterinary Law; Complying with regulations on chemical, antibiotic and metal residues in catfish farming process as raw materials for export processing to the US market (specified in Appendix 1 of the Program).

The farms must ensure that harvesting tools are not a source of unsafe food for catfish; Conducting water sampling, checking residues of some heavy metals, organic chlorine based pesticides at least once a year for farming area or collecting water quality testing results of Research Institute for Aquaculture; Carrying out monitoring of water quality during farming process according to US regulations (particularly for catsfish, monitor water quality criteria as prescribed in Annex 01 National Technical Regulation QCVN 0220: 2014/BNNPTNT). At the same time, farms must keep documents and records related to the process of raising, harvesting, selling raw materials.

Control of food safety conditions for farming establishment.

Catfish farms that supply for processing factories exporting to the United States must be appraised, certified and monitored for food safety conditions as prescribed in Circular No. 38/2018/TT-BNNPTNT dated 25 December 2018, the MARD stipulates the appraisal and certification of eligible agricultural, forestry and fishery food production and trading establishments management of the MARD (hereinafter referred to as Circular 38/2018/TT-BNNPTNT) or signing commitments on safe food production and trading under the provisions of Circular No. 17/2018/TT -BNNPTNT dated October 31, 2018 of the MARD. The circular No.17 stipulates methods of managing food safety conditions for agro-forestry-fishery production and business establishments not subject to issuance of Certificate The establishment is eligible for Food Safety under the management of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Circular 17/2018 / TT-BNNPTNT).

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