Following a review of the Dominican Republic’s documented inspection system for raw and intact beef products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has reinstated equivalence with U.S. food safety standards for the export of beef products to the U.S. market of Puerto Rico.
The milestone comes thanks to bilateral cooperation from NCBA CLUSA’s USDA Food for Progress-funded Safe Agriculture/Food Export (SAFE) project in the Dominican Republic, known locally as Progana.
Since October 2015, the SAFE project and one of its consortium partners, the University of Texas A&M’s Borlaug Institute, has provided technical and financial assistance to the Dominican Republic’s Beef Food Safety Inspection System, helping stakeholders make the necessary investments to comply with FSIS and the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)’s food safety standards and regulations.
The results of these investments were verified by FSIS during an in-country audit from September 13-23, 2021 and certified as equivalent on April 29, 2022. This milestone recognizes the hard work and investments made by the Dominican Republic, its food safety inspection system, meat processing facilities, and thousands of cattle ranchers—all of which are expected to create a positive feedback loop that will continue strengthening the Dominican cattle industry for years to come.