Contaminants in Food
Codex Committee on Contaminants in Food
(Host Government - Netherlands)
The Codex Committee on Contaminants in Food (CCCF) establishes and endorses permitted maximum levels or guideline levels for contaminants and naturally occurring toxicants in food and feed.
It also prepares priority lists of contaminants and naturally occurring toxicants for risk assessment by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives.
The CCCF considers methods of analysis and sampling for the determination of contaminants and naturally occurring toxicants in food and feed and develops and elaborates standards or codes of practice for related subjects. It also considers other matters assigned to it by the Commission in relation to contaminants and naturally occurring toxicants in food and feed.
Existing Codex Standards
The 'General Standard for Contaminants and Toxins in Foods' - relating to contaminants in food* - has been endorsed and adopted into the international food code.
For a full list of standards approved by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, please consult its Official List of Standards.
Outcomes of the 35th Codex Alimentarius Commission
The 35th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission adopted the draft standards and related texts forwarded by the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods (CCCF) with minor amendements to the Revision of the Code of Practice for Source Directed Measures to Reduce Contamination of Food with Chemicals (CAC/RCP 49-2001).
The 35th Commission also approved all new proposals for new work forwarded by the CCCF.
The 6th Session of the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods was held in Maastricht, The Netherlands from 26-30 March 2012.
Matters for Adoption by the Commission
The Committee agreed to forward:
- Risk Analysis Principles Applied by the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods;
- Revision of the Code of Practice for Source Directed Measures to Reduce Contamination of Food with Chemicals (CAC/RCP 49-2001);
- Revised Definition of Contaminant ;
- Draft Maximum Levels for Melamine in Food (Liquid Infant Formula);
- Proposed Draft Maximum Level for Total Aflatoxins in Dried Figs (including sampling plan).
Proposals for new work
The Committee agreed to submit to the Codex Alimentarius Commission the proposals for the following new work on:
- Code of Practice for Weed Control to Prevent and Reduce Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid Contamination in Food and Feed ;
- Revision of the Maximum levels for lead in fruit juices, milk and secondary milk products, infant formula, canned fruits and vegetables, fruits and cereal grains (except buckwheat, caÂ¿a and quinoa) in the General Standard for Contaminants and Toxins in Food and Feed;
- Annex for Prevention and Reduction of Aflatoxins and Ochratoxin A in Sorghum to the Code of Practice for Prevention and Reduction of Mycotoxin Contamination in Cereals (CAC/RCP 51-2003);
- Code of Practice for the Prevention and Reduction of Ochratoxin A contamination in Cocoa;
- Code of Practice to Reduce the Presence of Hydrocyanic Acid in Cassava;
- Proposed Draft Maximum Levels for Cassava and Cassava Products;
- Proposed Draft Levels for Radionuclides in Food.
Revocation of Standards
The Committee agreed to recommend the revocation of Guideline Levels for Vinyl Chloride Monomer and Acrylonitrile in Food and Packaging Material (CAC/GL 6-1991).
Matters of interest to the Commission
- agreed to hold at Step 4 the Proposed Draft Maximum Levels for Arsenic in Rice until further data became available and to explore through a discussion paper the development of a code of practice for arsenic in rice;
- agreed to return the Proposed Draft Maximum Levels for DON in cereals and cereal-based products and associated sampling plans to Step 2 for redrafting, comments and consideration at its next session;
- agreed to suspend work on fumonisins in maize and maize-products and to explore through a discussion paper whether there were gaps in the Code of Practice for Prevention and Reduction of Mycotoxin Contamination in Cereals and the need for a separate code of practice for fumonisins in maize and any other measures to control fumonisins in maize;
- agreed to continue discussion on editorial amendments to the GSCTFF to the next session;
- agreed to develop discussion papers on risk management options for pyrrolizidine alkaloids in foods, methylmercury in fish and predatory fish, and aflatoxins in cereals;
- endorsed the Priority List of Contaminants and Naturally Occurring Toxicants for JECFA evaluation and agreed to re-convene the physical working group at its next session to review the Priority List.
Matters referred to Codex Committees and Task Forces
Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling (CCMAS)
- The Committee agreed to request CCMAS to identify suitable methods of analysis for the determination of inorganic arsenic in rice in order to assist the CCCF to establish MLs for arsenic in rice.
Committee on General Principles (CCGP)
- The Committee agreed to inform CCGP of the Revision of Risk Analysis Principles Applied by the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods and the revision of the definition of contaminant, respectively;
- The Committee agreed to request CCGP to explore ways to make information and other similar documents available in the Codex system.
The 7th Session of the Committee is tentatively scheduled to be held in Russia, April 2013.
Download the agenda papers for this meeting
07 May 2012