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Certification for Chihuahua Onions

The director of the National Service of Agrifood Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA by its acronym in Spanish), Francisco Javier Trujillo Arriaga, informed that onion exporters in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico must have a certificate issued by the government agency, since, in case of not having this certificate, they will not be able to export.

The certificate will be issued free of charge, as part of the Contamination Risk Reduction System (SSRC by its Spanish acronym), to certify good agricultural practices, starting in June 2022, that is when exports will begin, given that the onion planting season in Chihuahua begins in February.

This new certification is a consequence of the food safety alert issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on October 20, 2021, after detecting a Salmonella outbreak that affected more than 600 people in 37 U.S. states, who consumed Chihuahua onions.

Investigation without conclusive evidence

It is important to mention that after the alert was issued, SENASICA inspectors carried out samplings in the 100 places from which onions are shipped to the United States, but none of them detected the bacteria, so there is no conclusive information that the Mexican product was the cause of the problem.

In addition, only nine of the thirty exporting companies are currently certified, so in order to continue sending products they will have to comply with a series of protocols related to water quality and the pesticides they use to produce, as well as the hygiene of workers and packing areas.

Curiously, the United States will not recognize certifications made by private companies, so exporters will have to own SENASICA certification, which was first used 15 years ago for the export of  Hami melon, then for coriander and papaya.

Investments that guarantee business

Of course, a certification that is applied for the first time to an agricultural product represents an extra cost for farmers and marketers, but this type of tool should be viewed as a long-term investment.

The main reason is that certifications guarantee that the procedures related to production, distribution and marketing have been carried out properly, which in turn guarantees consumers that the food they are consuming will not affect their health, a certainty that is absolutely necessary for them to continue consuming Mexican agricultural products.

It is important to understand that consumers have the power to change the consumption of one food for another, especially nowadays, when the supply of agricultural products has increased considerably, and the fact that consumers choose one product over another has repercussions throughout the entire agrifood chain.

Source: Info Rural

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