Import Refusal of Thai Food Exported to the United States of America in 2011-2020

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Trakul Prommajak
Sasinud Kormartakun
Maneewan Maneekan
Chanita Poraha
Waraporn Kusalaruk
Suwalee Fong-in

Abstract

Background: The United States of America is the main export market for agro-industrial product of Thailand. The annual export value was not less than 70 billion baht. However, some products were rejected for importation by the US Food and Drug Administration due to violations of food safety laws.


Objective: To analyze statistics and causes for the import refusal of Thai food by the US Food and Drug Administration during 2011–2020.


Methods: The research was a 10-year retrospective study that using the data on rejection of food products imported from Thailand that were exported to the United States between 2011 and 2020 from the Import Refusal Report database of U.S. FDA. Then, the study analysed the trends and reasons for refusing of food products in various groups.


Results: During 2011–2020, U.S. FDA rejected food imports from Thailand at an average of 0.143 percent per year. Import refusal tended to decline. The cause was mainly due to adulterated food at 70.2%. The most refused group was seafood product at 35.78%, mainly due to filths, histamine, lack of HACCP and Salmonella. Followed by fruit products at 23.88%, mainly due to filths, lack of HACCP and pesticides. Spice, condiment, and pastes group at 11.90% was mainly due to pesticides, Salmonella, and filths. Vegetable products group at 8.00% was mainly due to lack of registration of food canning establishment and scheduled process, and misbranding.


Conclusion: The number of U.S FDA food products imported for rejection declined. Biological contamination, as well as incorrect food labels were still common causes for import refusal every year. Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration of Thailand should consider auditing food production facilities that the filths were detected to suggest improvement of the facilities. In addition, relevant agencies should be integrated to provide advice on food laws of importing country, especially food labeling, to reduce the rejection rate from the destination country.

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