WASHINGTON – The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) reinstated the eligibility of the Netherlands to export beef products to the United States. A report from the Office of International Coordination of the US Dept. of Agriculture confirmed the reinstatement and detailed the results of an audit of the Netherlands’ meat inspection system in a report.

The most recent audit, held July 13 to July 23, 2015, was a follow-up audit to one conducted in June 2014 in which representatives of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of USDA found that the Netherlands needed to improve the performance of its government oversight, sanitation and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems.  For example, veterinarians at beef slaughter facilities needed training on FSIS requirements, according to the agency’s report.

“Specifically, training was needed on enforcement of zero tolerance for fecal and ingesta on carcasses, humane handling of cattle, removal of Specified Risk Materials (SRM), preventive measures for HACCP deviations, and sanitary dressing procedures,” the report explained. In response, the Nederlandse Voedsel-en Warenautoriteit (NVWA) mandated that “all newly appointed official veterinarians at the NVWA receive official training, including training on United States-requirements including Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP), Pre-SSOP, Critical Control Point (CCP) monitoring and verification, effective follow up of non-compliances, and escalated enforcement actions.”

The Netherlands plans to export raw intact veal products to the US. APHIS imposed a ban on beef produced in the Netherlands after bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was detected in the country in 1997.

Read USDA’s full report here: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/0d4a4912-b704-4999-a1a0-24bb2ea7c7d9/Netherlands-2015-FAR.pdf?MOD=AJPERES