(a) Prior to accrediting a third-party certification body under this subpart, a recognized accreditation body must perform, at a minimum, the following:
(1) In the case of a foreign government or an agency of a foreign government, such reviews and audits of the government's or agency's food safety programs, systems, and standards as are necessary to determine that it meets the eligibility requirements of § 1.640(b).
(2) In the case of a foreign cooperative or any other third-party seeking accreditation as a third-party certification body, such reviews and audits of the training and qualifications of agents conducting audits for such cooperative or other third party (or in the case of a third-party certification body that is an individual, such individual) and such reviews of internal systems and any other investigation of the cooperative or other third party necessary to determine that it meets the eligibility requirements of § 1.640(c).
(3) In conducting a review and audit under paragraph (a)(1) or (2) of this section, an observation of a representative sample of onsite audits examining compliance with the applicable food safety requirements of the FD&C Act and FDA regulations as conducted by the third-party certification body or its agents (or, in the case of a third-party certification body that is an individual, such individual).
(b) A recognized accreditation body must require a third-party certification body, as a condition of accreditation under this subpart, to comply with the reports and notification requirements of §§ 1.652 and 1.656 and to agree to submit to FDA, electronically and in English, any food or facility certifications it issues for purposes of sections 801(q) or 806 of the FD&C Act.
(c) A recognized accreditation body must maintain records on any denial of accreditation (in whole or in part) and on any withdrawal, suspension, or reduction in scope of accreditation of a third-party certification body under this subpart. The records must include the name and contact information for the third-party certification body; the date of the action; the scope of accreditation denied, withdrawn, suspended, or reduced; and the basis for such action.
(d) A recognized accreditation body must notify any third-party certification body of an adverse decision associated with its accreditation under this subpart, including denial of accreditation or the withdrawal, suspension, or reduction in the scope of its accreditation. The recognized accreditation body must establish and implement written procedures for receiving and addressing appeals from any third-party certification body challenging such an adverse decision and for investigating and deciding on appeals in a fair and meaningful manner. The appeals procedures must provide similar protections to those offered by FDA under §§ 1.692 and 1.693, and include requirements to:
(1) Make the appeals procedures publicly available;
(2) Use competent persons, who may or may not be external to the recognized accreditation body, who are free from bias or prejudice and have not participated in the accreditation decision or be subordinate to a person who has participated in the accreditation decision to investigate and decide appeals;
(3) Advise third-party certification bodies of the final decisions on their appeals; and
(4) Maintain records under § 1.625 of appeals, final decisions on appeals, and the bases for such decisions.