Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Codex Alimentarius (Latin = “food law” or “food code”) is a collection of international standards for food safety and consumer protection. It is maintained by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a body established jointly by FAO (The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) and WHO (The World Health Organization) in the years 1961-1962 to protect consumers’ health and ensure fair practices in the international food trade .
The Codex Alimentarius is recognized by the World Trade Organization as an international reference point for the resolution of disputes concerning food safety and consumer protection.
The Codex Alimentarius officially covers all foods, whether processed, semi-processed or raw, but far more attention has been given to foods that are sold directly to the consumer. In addition to standards for specific foods, the Codex Alimentarius contains general standards covering matters such as food labeling , food hygiene, food additives and pesticide residues, and procedures for assessing the safety of foods derived from modern biotechnology. It also contains guidelines for the management of official (i.e., governmental) import and export inspection and certification systems for foods.
- Food labeling (general standard, guidelines on nutrition labeling, guidelines on labeling claims)
- Food additives (general standard including authorized uses, specifications for food grade chemicals)
- Contaminants in foods (general standard, tolerances for specific contaminants including radionuclides, aflatoxins and other mycotoxins)
- Pesticide and veterinary chemical residues in foods (maximum residue limits)
- Risk assessment procedures for determining the safety of foods derived from biotechnology (DNA-modified plants, DNA-modified micro-organisms, allergens)
- Food hygiene (general principles, codes of hygienic practice in specific industries or food handling establishments, guidelines for the use of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point or “HACCP” system)
- Methods of analysis and sampling
- Meat products (fresh, frozen, processed meats and poultry)
- Fish and fishery products (marine, fresh water and aquaculture)
- Milk and milk products
- Foods for special dietary uses (including infant formulae and baby foods)
- Fresh and processed fruits and vegetables and fruit juices
- Cereals and derived products, dried legumes
- Fats, oils and derived products such as margarine
- Miscellaneous food products (chocolate, sugar, honey, mineral water)
- Procedural Manual of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, FAO/WHO, Rome, Italy
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