Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-232) 31 pp

December 2021

Examining Pathogen-Based Import Refusals: Trends and Analysis From 2002 to 2019

Identifying contaminants in imported foods and refusing contaminated shipments help minimize the risk of foodborne illness from foreign products and are essential to keep U.S. consumers safe. This report uses import refusal data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 2002 to 2019 to explore import refusals based on contamination with pathogens and toxins. The report examines trends in total, annually, by industry, and by country.

Errata: On December 23, the title of figure 4 on page 9 was revised to say, “Total number of pathogen/toxin violations by industry, 2002-19.” In addition, the titles of figures 11b, 11c, and 11d on pages 17 and 18 were revised to show the correct country.

Errata: On January 18, the first row of appendix 2 was revised to correct number of pathogen/toxin violations by histamine and aflatoxin to match those shown in figure 5. No other text or figures were affected.

Keywords: Import refusals, pathogen, toxin, foreign food inspection, food imports, Salmonella, Listeria, vibrio, shigella, OASIS, PREDICT, food safety oversight

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