COVID-19 CONTROL MEASURES STRENGTHENED FOR ECUADORIAN SHRIMP EXPORTS
COVID-19 control measures strengthened for Ecuadorian shrimp exports. Efforts are continuing to guarantee the quality and safety of Ecuadorian shrimp in its more than 50 export destinations, including the People’s Republic of China, biosecurity measures are being reinforced in crustacean processing plants. The new provisions are part of the agreement signed last August between the Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment and Fisheries of Ecuador (MPCEIP) and the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC).
The Under Secretariat of Safety and Quality of Ecuador (SCI) is the competent entity to verify compliance and execute the respective controls; In this sense, Daniel Pesantes, head of the SCI led the virtual workshop with representatives of the Ecuadorian processing plants, prior to the execution of the inspections that will begin immediately.
The objective is to verify that the aquaculture product processing establishments have strengthened their disinfection and personal hygiene measures to all operators who are in contact with the product and the packaging;
screening tests for COVID-19 should be performed periodically and if a case is identified, the worker must be quarantined for 14 days and can only return to work when his Nucleic Acid test is negative. Workers who are in
close contact with the infected worker will be treated the same.
Regarding the risks of contagion in products, packaging material and processing areas, they will be controlled by reinforcing the Standardised Sanitation Operating Procedures (SOPs) that guarantee the disinfection of areas and surfaces, in order to eliminate contaminating agents. This will also be done inside the containers, prior to loading the product.
All Ecuadorian establishments that export shrimp to China will be subject to inspections by the SCI without exception and, in the event of non-compliance with the biosecurity procedures, the issuance of health certificates will be suspended, which means it is impossible for the company to export until it presents an improvement plan and a new inspection is carried out.
As a result, by reinforcing its biosecurity and establishing transparent processes, the Ecuadorian shrimp industry strengthens its commitment to consumers worldwide to guarantee a safe product, as well as excellent taste, texture and in line with the highest