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The Food Safety And Quality Requirements forThe Importation of Poultry Prepackaged Frozen Meat (including Legs)

Poultry meat is classified as a high risk product from a food safety perspective. It is therefore a regulated product.

To ensure that imported poultry meat that reaches the consumer is wholesome and safe for consumption, the National Food Control Authority commonly called the Competent Authority must put in place the sanitary measures to ensure the wholesomeness and safety of the imported poultry meat upto the point where it reaches the consumer ie the final point. In the Gambia the Competent Authority is the Food Safety and Quality Authority of The Gambia established by the Food Safety and Quality Act 2011. The Act does mandate the Authority to regulate the importation and export of food and feed in terms of safety and quality.

Importers must be registered and licensed by the Food Safety and Quality Authority.Importers will be issued an import permit annually specifying the Food Safety and Quality Requirements to be complied with.

Conditions to be complied with for imports of food and feed for placing on the market must meet the requirements of the Act and the Regulations developed under it. These requirements apply to the entire supply chain starting with requirements that must be fulfilled in the exporting country.

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    Food Safety and Quality Requirements to be fulfilled in the exporting

    1. The birds/poultry should come from Farms that are free of Notifiable Poultry Diseases;
    2. The facilities where the poultry meat has been processed and packed must be export establishments approved by the OfficialNational Food Control Authority / Competent Authority;
    3. The consignment must be inspected and certified as safe by the Official Food Safety Authority;
    4. The consignment must be accompanied by official inspection certificates issued by the competent authority of the exporting country certifying the products to be wholesome, safe and fit for human consumption;

Food Safety and Quality Requirements to be fulfilled on arrival of the Consignment at the Port of Entry in The Gambia

Further to the customs procedures, the following food safety and quality measures will be implemented by the FSQA Food Inspectors at the Port of Entry:-

- The documents issued by the Competent Food Safety Authority of the Exporting Country will be examined / checked by the Food Inspectors at the Border Post (Ports) for authenticity and compliance;

- The consignment of poultry products will be inspected including the maintenance of the required temperature, labelling and wholesomeness of the packaging;

- Mandatory Labelling – The label of the product shall comformwith the Mandatory Labelling of Prepackaged Foods and shall include the following:-

  1. The name of the product
  2. Date of Slaughter;
  3. Date of Packaging;

- Samples maybe taken for laboratory testing where necessary;

- Extremely important that the temperature is maintained throughout the supply chain including when transported from the port of entry, at the warehouses/storage facilities, distribution to end storage or the wholesale and retail outlets. It is the responsibility of the FSQA Inspectors to ensure all the supply chain actors comply with the good hygienic practices required by the Food Safety and Quality Act 2011 and the relevant regulations;

- The products can only be subjected to consequential re-packaging into small units (packs) and processing compliant with FSQA’s requirements.

Food Safety and Quality Authority of The Gambia is established by the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2011 under the Office of The President. It is the sole National Competent Authority with powers of delegation mandated to officially control the safety and quality of all foods (including water and beverages) and animal feed whether locally produced, imported or destined for export.

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