Two-way trade between the United States and the micro-state of San Marino is a mere $7 million a year. And a scant amount of that involves any food or agricultural product whatsoever.

The world’s oldest Republic, land-locked by Italy surrounding its 24 square miles with a population of 33,400, has again undergone an equivalency audit by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

FSIS auditors visited San Marino last March 4 through March 8, 2019.

The 1,718- year-old Republic welcomed the equivalence verification audit because it wants to export ready-to-eat processed pork to the United States.  San Marino gets its pork only from “certified establishments in eligible countries.”  These sources include Italy, Denmark and other European States eligible to export to the U.S.

San Marino is not an EU Member Country but does use the Euro as its currency.

In the new audit, the FSIS did not find any deficiencies that present any immediate threats to public health. It did write San Marino officials about two issues, which merited written responses.

The first involves government sanitation procedures. FSIS said San Marino is documenting handwashing requirements to prevent Listeria. The audit found no specific hand Washington and hand sanitation requirements were in place.

In response, San Marino said it has “adapted to the standard in question.”

The other issue concerns the auditor’s finding that San Marino “failed to ensure compliance with HACCP requirements, including a lack of ongoing verification procedures and frequencies in the HACCP plans…”

The report cites a repeated failure to document HACCP compliance.

In its response, San Marino said it follows “European Standards,” but has adopted the “standard in question.” It says there might have been “problems in the exact correspondence between the European system of self-control and the American self-control system.”

The FSIS audit report says San Marino committed to addressing the preliminary findings as presented and follow-up will occur in future equivalence verification activities.

The audit included both San Marino laboratory facilities and a pork processing facility.

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