Ecuador steps up biosecurity measures to ensure safe shrimp for export to China

Saturday, September 19, 2020


September 19, 2020

 

Ecuador steps up biosecurity measures to ensure safe shrimp for export to China

 

 

Ecuador intends to step up biosecurity measures in its shrimp processing plants, as it seeks to regain full access to the Chinese market.

 

A report by The Fish Site said this move is part of an agreement signed between the Ecuadorian Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment and Fisheries (MPCEIP) and China's General Administration of Customs (GACC).

 

"All Ecuadorian establishments that export shrimp to China will be subject to inspections by the SCI (Undersecretariat of Safety and Quality) of Ecuador without exception and, in the event of non-compliance with the biosecurity procedures, the issuance of health certificates will be suspended, which means it is not possible for the company to export until it presents an improvement plan and a new inspection is carried out", said a statement from the National Chamber of Aquaculture.

 

It added that by reinforcing its biosecurity and establishing transparent processes, the Ecuadorian shrimp industry "strengthens its commitment to consumers worldwide to guarantee a safe product, as well as excellent taste, texture and in line with the highest sustainability standards".

 

SCI head Daniel Pesantes recently led a virtual workshop with shrimp processors before a round of inspections of their plants was conducted.

 

In line with the initiative, screening tests for COVID-19 will be performed periodically among industry workers. If a worker tests positive, he or she will be quarantined for 14 days and can only return to work when the test is negative. Workers in close contact with the infected worker will be treated the same, as per report.

 

Plants will also reinforce the standardised sanitation operating procedures (SOPs) that guarantee the disinfection of areas and surfaces, in order to eliminate contaminating agents. This will likewise be done inside the containers prior to loading the product.

 

Ecuadorian shrimp were reported to be the cheapest in the world as prices hit rock-bottom in July and continued to be low in August.