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A year in transition

FAO and WHO. 2022. CODEX  A year in transition. Codex Alimentarius Magazine, 2022. Codex Alimentarius Commission. Rome.

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    The Codex Alimentarius Commission marks its 60th anniversary in 2023. This seventh edition of the CODEX magazine looks back at origins and looks forward to what the future may bring for the international food standard setting. Those involved in Codex, whether they be current or former Commission Chairs, Secretaries, Members or Observers, experts or host secretariats, have contributed to this celebration of Codex achievements. This publication also summarizes the work of the technical and regional committees that have met since the 45th Commission in 2022, bringing new, amended and revised texts for adoption in November 2023. It captures six decades and a year in the life of the Commission and the Codex Secretariat – working to protect health and facilitate trade.
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    In 1964, nine Codex Alimentarius Commission Member countries and a number of Observer organizations gathered in Washington DC, United States of America to begin building consensus on how to produce food hygienically and, where feasible, set limits for microbial counts in foods. Thanks to the visionary approach of Codex in those early years, knowledge about how to safely prepare and handle food was used to develop standards, providing tools for both national regulatory authorities and the food industry to systematically improve food hygiene. The leaps and bounds made over five decades mean that food can now be safely produced, processed and distributed in greater volumes and over greater distances than ever before. The Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH) is one of the ten active general subject committees of the Codex Alimentarius. The Committee, chaired by the United States, drafts basic hygiene-related provisions, including microbiological specifications that are applicable to all foods. As with all Committees, the texts are proposed to the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which meets annually to adopt the standards. This publication presents some of the achievements of the CCFH in celebration of its fifty sessions of developing the guidance necessary to ensure the microbiological safety of food. A timeline shows the standards, guidelines and codes of practice that it has created and are in use today. Codex Committees regularly update and revise standards to maintain their relevance and effectiveness.

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