Singapore imports about 8,000 tonnes of chilled pork each year. To ensure food safety, all consignments were previously subject to a detain-and-inspect procedure before they could be released for sale. More than 90 percent of this quantity comes from Australia’s 13 AVA-accredited establishments.
Over the past years, our inspection and surveillance records showed that these establishments have constantly maintained a high standard of food safety and have continued to meet AVA’s stringent import requirements.
We also observed that different local importers often separately bring in consignments that are from the same batch of chilled pork produced by the same establishment in Australia. In such cases, AVA officers had to detain and inspect every consignment from various importers, although these consignments all originated from the same source.
To improve the efficiency of our inspection programme without compromising food safety, AVA piloted a programme in October 2013 to streamline the import processes for Australian chilled pork. Local importers of chilled pork had earlier been consulted on the proposed changes, and their concerns were taken into consideration.
In this pilot, only one consignment of chilled pork from one selected establishment in Australia is subjected to inspection on each day. The establishment was selected because it has consistently complied with AVA’s requirements. Singapore imports an average of 25 consignments from this establishment weekly, and as many as seven consignments in a day.
To further ensure food safety, AVA inspects one consignment from a different importer every day, so that all importers are checked and covered under this pilot programme. In addition, we continue to work closely with all importers to ensure the pork products in all uninspected consignments are safe for consumption as well.
To date, the compliance rate of chilled pork from the selected establishment remains high. The pilot programme has been well-received by importers who can now enjoy savings in cost and time. AVA continues to monitor this pilot programme to ensure food safety and operational efficiency. If the pilot proves to be successful, we may expand the streamlined inspection process to include all AVA-accredited chilled pork establishments in Australia.
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Last updated on Tuesday, April 14, 2020