The adoption of international food safety standards on fish, eggs and infant formulas are likely next week at the annual meeting of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Agreements forged at the six-day meeting beginning on 2 July in Rome could eventually affect the way processors operate worldwide as they become incorporated into national laws. The standards are recognised as international benchmarks by one of the multilateral agreements of the UN World Trade Organization (WTO) and aim to help international food trade by eliminating many of what the UN calls "unjustified technical barriers" set up by some countries. The Codex Alimentarius is a global body set up by the Food and Agricultural Organisation and the World Health Organisation as a means of getting countries to adopt international safety standards and other guidelines. At this year's annual meeting, the Commission is considering several draft food standards for adoption. These include a draft code of practice for fish and fishery products, for hygienic practice for eggs and egg products and a draft revised standard for infant formula and formulas for "special medical purposes". The Commission will also consider proposals setting maximum levels for tin in canned foods and beverages and a code of practice for reducing Ochratoxin A contamination in wine. They will also consider draft rules on a number of standards for food additives, including specifications on identification, numbering and purity. A proposed draft code of practice for fish and such products such as quick frozen coated fish and salted fish is also on the body's agenda. Various panels have also submitted a proposed amendment to the standard for canned sardines and related products. Commission members will also consider a new draft guideline on the control of Listeria monocytogenes in foods and on microbiological risk management. Since 1963, the Codex has adopted about 200 commodity standards. A total of 174 countries and the European Community belong to Codex.
International food safety standards on fish, eggs and infant formulas are likely to be adopted next week at the annual meeting of the Codex Alimentarius Commission.