Nuestra meta es promover la inocuidad alimentaria, instando a autoridades, productores y consumidores Latinoamericanos a aportar en la consecución de este objetivo.
Our goal is to promote food safety, pushing authorities, producers and latin american consumers to increase their efforts to accomplish this objective.
viernes, 27 de julio de 2012
UN Strengthens Food Safety Regulations
The UN food standards body has agreed on new regulations – including the
maximum level of melamine in liquid milk formula for babies – to protect the
health of consumers across the world. Other measures adopted include new food
safety standards on seafood, melons, dried figs and food labeling.
Melamine: Melamine can be lethal at high concentrations and has been
used illegally to increase apparent protein content in food products including
infant formula and milk powder. Milk tainted with melamine has caused death and
illness in infants. Two years ago, the Codex Commission adopted a maximum
melamine level of 1 mg/kg for powdered infant formula and of 2.5 mg/kg for
other foods and animal feed. The Commission has now set a maximum limit of 0.15
mg/kg for melamine in liquid infant milk. Melamine is used to make dishware and
kitchenware, among other industrial applications. The new limit will help
governments protect consumers by determining if detected levels of melamine result
from unavoidable melamine contamination that does not cause health problems or
from deliberate adulteration.
Dried figs and aflatoxins: Aflatoxins, a group of mycotoxins produced by
molds, are toxic and are known to be carcinogenic. They can be found in a
variety of products such as dried fruits, nuts, spices and cereals at high
levels if the produce is not stored properly. The Commission now agreed a safe
maximum limit of 10 mg/kg for dried figs, together with details on how test
sampling should be conducted.
Melons: An emerging public health issue relates to the increased
popularity of pre-cut melon slices. Exposed pulp of the fruit can become a
breeding ground for bacteria. This has been linked to life-threatening
salmonella and listeria outbreaks. The Commission recommended that pre-cut
melons should be wrapped or packaged and refrigerated as soon as possible and
distributed at temperatures of 4° C or less. Cooling and cold-storing was
recommended as soon as possible after harvest, while knife blades used for
cutting or peeling should be disinfected on a regular basis.
Seafood and viruses: Food hygiene in seafood, particularly for molluscs,
such as mussels and oysters, have become a major food safety concern. The
Commission adopted a set of preventive hygiene measures aimed to control
food-borne viruses. Viruses are generally more resistant than bacteria and
those transmitted by the faecal-oral route can persist for months in bivalve
molluscs, soil, water and sediments. They can survive freezing, refrigeration,
UV radiation and disinfection but are sensitive to heat. Common foodborne viral
diseases are caused by hepatitis A virus and norovirus. The Commission noted
that the main hazard for the production of molluscs, such as oysters and
mussels, was the biological contamination of the waters in which they grow. It
is therefore important to ensure the seawater quality of growing areas, the
Commission noted. When there is a likelihood or evidence of viral
contamination, closure of the area, destruction of contaminated molluscs and/or
heat treatment before consumption of already harvested molluscs is recommended.
Mandatory nutrition labeling: Codex recommended that food manufacturers
across the world label nutritional content on their products to ensure that consumers
are better informed; the recommendation is in line with WHO’s Strategy on Diet,
Physical Activity and Health and is a major step forward in promoting healthy