Major progress on food safety guidance achieved at Codex

 

The Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH) was held 4-8 November 2019 in Cleveland (US). Two major pieces of work were completed during this session:

The Proposed Draft Code of Practice on Food Allergen Management for Food Business Operators
CCFH agreed to send it to the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) for adoption at step 8 (publication). Once the Codex Committee on Food Labelling completes its work on precautionary allergen labelling, CCFH will consider whether this document needs revision.

 

The Proposed Draft Revision of The General Principles of Food Hygiene and HACCP Annex

CCFH made significant revisions to the document, including editorial corrections, amendments for flexibility, clarity, completeness and consistency. In particular, less emphasis is put on the importance of HACCP, as Good Hygienic Practices (GHPs) is considered sufficient in many cases. The Critical Control Point (CCP)-decision tree was removed for possible further work.

The concept of and guidelines on validation was put together under step 11 of the HACCP step procedure. CCFH agreed to send the document to the CAC for adoption at step 5/8.

Refining recent work and new projects

These include:

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC)

CCFH agreed that raw milk in the guidance was raw milk intended for direct consumption rather than for further processing. CCFH agreed to establish an electronic Working Group (eWG) to reword the title to take this into account and to redraft the general section and existing annexes, to draft an annex on Raw Milk and Raw Milk Cheeses describing interventions relevant to control of STEC in these foods to be submitted to JEMRA (Joint FAO/WHO expert group on microbiological risk assessment) prior to June 2020.

Guidelines for the safe use and reuse of water in food production

CCFH agreed on a project document for new work to be approved by CAC in 2020 on a general guidance document on key elements, including guidance for determining appropriate and fit for-purpose microbiological criteria for pathogens (bacteria, viruses, parasites) and definitions, relevant for safe water sourcing, use and reuse as part of a food safety management program in food production, and will contain sector specific annexes, including one for the dairy sector.

IDF will consult its membership and actively contribute to that work.

The next session of the CCFH will be held in the United States of America, 16-20 November 2020.

For more information on IDF’s involvement in CCFH, please contact Aurélie Dubois-Lozier, IDF Science and Standards Programme Manager