The Codex Alimentarius
Commission (CAC) concluded a week-long meeting and adopted more than 30 new
international standards, codes of practice, and guidelines to improve
worldwide food safety and protect the health of consumers.
New standards adopted by
the Commission include:
Reduction of acrylamide in
The code of practice will provide national and local authorities,
manufacturers, and others with guidance to prevent and reduce
formation of acrylamide in potato products during all phases of the
Reduction of contamination
with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The Commission adopted the
first guidelines for reducing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
intake through final food preparation. Parts of PAH are possible human
carcinogens formed during the combustion of fuel both in the smoking
and in the direct drying processes involved in the preparation of
Prevention of Ochratoxin A
contamination in coffee.
The Commission adopted guidance to enable coffee-producing countries
to develop and implement their own national programs for the
prevention and reduction of Ochratoxin A (OTA) contamination.
Powdered follow-up formulae. The Commission adopted
criteria for Salmonella
and other bacteria in powdered follow-up formulae for children six
months of age or older and for special medical purposes for young children.
Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat food. The Commission adopted
parameters for microbiological testing and environmental monitoring
monocytogenes in ready-to-eat food. A maximum level was
set for certain food products where the bacteria cannot grow, while in
ready-to-eat products where growth is possible, no Listeria monocytogenes
will be allowed.
The Commission also
launched new work projects, among them establishing maximum levels for
melamine in food and feed. In the last few years, high levels of melamine
have been added illegally to food and feed products, causing illness and
death. Because it has many industrial uses, melamine may be found in trace
amounts in the food chain due to its presence in the environment. Setting
maximum limits will help governments differentiate between unavoidable
melamine occurrence and the deliberate adulteration of food and feed.