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New Zealand passes inspection

25 July 2003

New Zealand passes inspection

The New Zealand meat processing industry has again been given the thumbs up by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Inspectors from the Food Safety Inspection Service of the USDA last week completed a six week tour of inspection of meat premises approved to export meat to the United States.

NZFSA Director of Compliance and Investigation Geoff Allen said that all 13 of the processing plants and three laboratories selected for inspection met US criteria for continued export. There are 68 premises in New Zealand that are approved to export meat to the United States.

“The USDA conducts regular audits of New Zealand and other countries to ensure that the country’s systems are able to supply product consistent with US requirements. We are very pleased that once again New Zealand has shown that it’s systems meet the grade,” Mr Allen said.

“A number of issues that were highlighted at some premises relating to repairs, maintenance and housekeeping were quickly remedied and there were no other major concerns,” Mr Allen said.

"These results reflect the meat processing industry’s efforts and long term commitment to the US marketplace. They are also a reflection of the effort and commitment of MAF's Verification Agency which plays an integral part in ensuring industry meets requirements,” Mr Allen said.

The audits are wide ranging and check standards of hygiene, labelling and security, amongst other things. The inspectors visit annually and select a sample of premises to audit from the 68 premises approved to export meat to the United States.

Ends

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