October 28, 2003



Mexico Announced Sampling of Meat & Poultry Imports As of Nov 1 


On October 2, 2003, an official letter was sent from the office of the Director General of Agricultural Health Inspection at the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) notifying all the offices of Agricultural Health Inspection (OISA) at the border points of entry to Mexico of the new procedures for taking samples on meat and poultry products entering Mexico as of November 1, 2003. 


SAGARPA will begin sampling and holding two percent of all shipments containing the products outlined in the letter.  Shipments that are sampled will be detained until the test results are known.  SAGARPA officials indicate that they will be testing for a variety of residues including heavy metals and antibiotics on a random basis.  Note: While SAGARPA will be testing for heavy metals, officials indicate that the test and hold procedures outlined in NOM-030 have been suspended. 


SAGARPA officials have informed the Office of Foreign Agricultural Affairs that they will strive to conduct the tests and release the shipments as rapidly as possible, possibly within three days.  Comment:  Shipments that have been detained previously under the test and hold procedures applied to heavy metals have typically been held for five to ten days.


The English translation of the letter from SAGARPA follows:


On basis of Article 47, paragraph V, of the Federal Animal Health Law and section 8.1 of NOM-058-ZOO-1999, "Specifications for the Installations and Operations of the Verification and Sanitary Inspection Points, relative to the Taking of Samples for Analysis of Toxic and Microbiological Residues", and whose results should be an indispensable requirement for its importation to Mexico; in this regard, to fulfil this requirement, on November 1, 2003, the following procedure must be applied:


Considering the commercial flow that occurs at each OISA per day, the quantity of shipments to be detained by randomly considering 2 percent of the total per day will be determined by using a table of random numbers.  In case table 1 cannot be applied per day, it will be applied by week or by month, depending on the commercial movement at each OISA.



Source: USDA