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New FSIS Notice Regarding Inspection of Closed-Face Sandwiches for Canada

FSIS Notice 98-16 (dated 12/22/16), Inspection of Closed-Face Sandwiches for Export to Canada, details new requirements for processors of closed-face sandwiches for export to Canada. In the United States, processors of closed-face sandwiches (including sandwiches made with pancakes or waffles) are under FDA jurisdiction. Following the 2013 Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) audit of the U.S. system, Canada requested that FDA-regulated ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products follow the same HACCP and Listeria monocytogenes requirements as FSIS-regulated products. Thus, starting Feb. 13, 2017, FSIS will no longer sign export certificates for closed-face sandwiches to Canada unless the processing facility applies for voluntary FSIS inspection of the applicable products and implements the AMS Export Verification Program for Microbiological Testing of Ready-To-Eat Products Destined for Canada. More details on these changes and the AMS program can be found in the FSIS Notice. For questions, please email Cheyenne McEndaffer or call 303-623-6328.