Namibia, from 23 to 27 September 2019, through the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS), underwent a public health and assurance audit by the United States of America via Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS).
On an annual basis, DVS submits an online self-audit, which FSIS verifies with an onsite audit every two years.
The audit ensures that Namibia complies with all the import requirements of the US beef market and based on the final audit report Namibia will be granted excess to continue exporting to the USA.
As a food business operator, Meatco was audited at plant level by the FSIS auditor. The auditor conducted a walk through the plant on 24 September at 06:00, whereby a thorough assessment of how the plant is prepared by the DVS health inspectors for start-up was carried out. This was then followed by a further audit with the DVS personnel.
In addition to this, the auditor reviewed the plant’s food safety plan, namely, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), with no findings observed regarding the plan in place.
This inspection was conducted under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is responsible for the commercial supply of meat, correct labelling and packaging in that country.
As aforementioned, this audit allows for American authorities to verify that Namibia remains in compliance with maintaining their required standards.
Namibia was audited on the following topics:
Handling of Specific Risk Material (SRM) and controls over condemned material.
Microbiological sampling and testing.
Humane handling of animals.
Non-conformances and corrective actions.
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points Plan.
Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP).
Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and verification.
Verification and review of documents.
Residue sampling and testing regimes
“The final audit report will be shared with the DVS Namibia and they will communicate the findings with Meatco for the implementation of corrective actions, if there are any,” Quality Assurance Manager, Marchella Somaes, says.
“Meatco through Namibia was granted access to the American market in 2016 and the approval of the labelling was done at the beginning of January this year. We are, therefore, excited about this additional market milestone as we look forward to fruitful trade relations,” Somaes adds
Meatco intends to market boneless raw beef products such as primal cuts, chuck-and-blade and beef trimming.