KENYA – The 54th session of the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH) has recently concluded with strides towards fortifying global food safety standards.

From pivotal updates to existing guidelines to groundbreaking new proposals, the committee’s deliberations marked a pivotal moment in ensuring the integrity of the global food supply chain.

At the forefront of discussions were the advancements in controlling Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and the safe use and reuse of water in food production and processing.

Draft Annex II on leafy vegetables and Annex IV on sprouts were proposed, complementing the existing guidelines adopted in November 2023.

Furthermore, the proposed draft Annex III on milk and milk products under the Codex “Guidelines for the Safe Use and Reuse of Water in Food Production and Processing” were forwarded for adoption at the upcoming 47th session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

The assembly also saw the drafting of two new Codex standards poised to enhance food safety measures worldwide.

A revised version of the “Guidelines on the Application of General Principles of Food Hygiene to the Control of Pathogenic Vibrio Species in Seafood” and novel “Guidelines for Food Hygiene Control Measures in Traditional Markets for Food” were both set for adoption at the forthcoming session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

These standards promise to bolster hygiene protocols, particularly in seafood and traditional market settings.

New work proposals

The committee endorsed several new work proposals to address emerging challenges in food safety.

Notable among these are the revision of guidelines concerning viruses, Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes. These proposals signify a proactive approach to staying ahead of evolving risks and ensuring the highest standards of food safety on a global scale.

Looking ahead, the 55th session of CCFH promises to build upon the momentum generated in Nairobi. Scheduled to convene in the United States at the end of 2025, this gathering will serve as a platform for further innovation and collaboration in safeguarding the world’s food supply.

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