2017 Codex Alimentarius Updates on Contaminants

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Codex Alimentarius has published a new consolidated version of CODEX STAN 193-1995 General Standard for Contaminants and Toxins in Food and Feed on November 29, 2017. The standard is the result of the 40th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), which was held in July of this year in Geneva.

In order to protect against high exposures of lead, the CAC has set new limits for lead contamination found in food. The Commission set limits of no more than 0.1 mg of lead per kg of pulses; 0.4 mg/kg for jams, jellies and marmalades; and 0.05 mg/kg for preserved tomatoes, amongst other maximum levels for processed fruits and vegetables.

Besides this general standard, two more standards related to the contaminants were developed in this year:

RCP 77-2017

The Codex Alimentarius Commission has adopted a code of practice for the prevention and reduction of arsenic contamination in rice.

Arsenic is among a wide range of substances, whether occurring naturally in the environment or produced by human activity, that can accumulate in plants as they grow and, eventually, end up in our food. The code of practice lays out agricultural and source-directed measures that have proved effective and implementable worldwide for rice farmers and other stakeholders to help produce and trade safe rice.

RCP 78-2017

This document will establish a general code of practice for the prevention and reduction of mycotoxins in spices in order to attain as low as reasonably achievable level of these toxins. It should be done by applying specific Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and Good Storage Practices (GSPs) throughout all the steps in the food chain, thus reducing consumers’ exposure through preventive measures.

Tags: Food Contaminants Codex Alimentarius Codex Standards