Good Inspection Guidelines for Fruit & Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC)

Summary: Destination Inspection Services



The DRC policy regarding destination inspection is as follows: Assuming domestic capacity within a member country, inspection delivery options are:

  1. United States Department of Agriculture/Canadian Food Inspection Agency (USDA/CFIA) government inspections; and where such inspection is not available inspection services may be obtained from;
  2. USDA/CFIA accredited inspection services; and where such inspection is not available inspection services may be obtained from;
  3. Independent private commercial inspection services mutually agreed upon by both parties; and who meet DRC Inspection Standards and Inspection Elements and where such inspection is not available inspection services may be obtained from;
  4. Private individuals mutually agreed upon in writing by both parties; or
  5. Independent private commercial inspection services where there is no agreement between the parties.

The services that carry the most weight are the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) and the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) government inspection agencies. The next best option would be a destination inspection service which is accredited by the CFIA or USDA, however at the present time there are none. The corporation will accept inspection certificates issued by the USDA and the CFIA as prima facie evidence of the contents of the certificate.

To protect themselves companies should always request a CFIA or USDA inspection before they use any other service

Inspection documents issued by the USDA and CFIA (or USDA/CFIA accredited inspection services) will be accepted by the corporation as prima facie evidence of the contents of the certificate without the need to call as a witness in any proceeding the author of the certificate to prove or otherwise authenticate the certificate or the contents of it.

The corporation will recognize inspections performed by Independent private commercial inspection services or individuals which have demonstrated capacity to perform inspections of fresh fruits and vegetables according to the Inspection Standards of the corporation (see attached), but the burden of proving the credibility of that inspection will rest with the party submitting the inspection.

Inspection Standards & Elements

The requirements for a complete inspection will include the following Inspection Standards and Elements as attached.


Inspection services to be based upon:

  1. Dependability of the service when called.
  2. Reliability and accuracy of the results of the inspection, through the use of uniform terminology and forms.
  3. Timeliness of the inspection and the provision of its results.
  4. Professionalism in how the results are presented and subsequently explained.
  5. The overall credibility and trust that the service attains from delivering the service ethically, consistently and impartially, reinforced through the uniform interpretation and application of grade standards and inspection procedures.
  6. Need for established protocols for:
    • training of inspectors;
    • accrediting of inspectors;
    • auditing of inspectors; and
    • certification of inspectors.


When using other than USDA or CFIA Inspection services reports need to include:

  1. The date when the shipment arrived and when it was made accessible for inspection.
  2. The date or dates and times the inspection was requested and performed.
  3. Location of the product when inspected (i.e. in the conveyance, on the dock, in the warehouse, cooler, etc.). If on the conveyance the trailer, rail car or container number should be recorded.
  4. The numbers of packages present and available for inspection, with a notation about whether the inspector counted the containers, or whether he relied on the requester’s count.
  5. Label information and markings (including lot numbers) on the packages.
  6. Pulp temperatures of the produce. Describe the places in the load where temperatures are taken, and state each temperature taken in the inspection report. A minimum of 5 pulp temperatures should be taken. Twenty (20) should be taken if the inspection is specifically performed regarding a temperature related issue.
  7. Describe sampling procedures and the number of samples examined. Samples must be randomly selected, must constitute 1% or more of the shipment. Note sheets for each sample must be kept and made available on request.
  8. State what produce grade standards or other specifications were referenced in making the inspection.
  9. Each defect found must be described in general terms so as to give a verbal picture of the defect. When possible, photographs (preferably digital) of the product will be provided.
  10. The approximate percentage of the commodity affected by each described defect.
  11. Temperature recording devices should be requested by the inspector, and a clear, legible, and complete copy of the recorder print out should be attached to the inspection report. If this is not done the inspection should recount efforts to secure the charts, and state why charts were not secured.
  12. If the inspector can verify, the location of the temperature recording device(s) in the load.
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