Food Safety and Zoonoses

Microbiological hazards in fresh produce

FAO/WHO consultation, , 28 April - 4 May 2008

Problems linked with pathogenic microorganisms in fresh produce, including associated public health and trade implications, have been reported in a number of countries worldwide. In noting this, the 38th Session of the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH) requested FAO and WHO to provide scientific advice to support the development of commodity specific annexes for the Codex Alimentarius "Code of Hygienic Practice for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables".

The Committee highlighted the need to address the control of specific hazards of concern in particular fruit and vegetable products in more detail and it provided terms of reference as guidance to the type of scientific advice required. These terms of reference are extensive, and span the whole food-chain. Given the need to provide advice in a timely manner FAO and WHO propose to address the various tasks, including the specific pathogen-commodity combinations to be addressed, in a prioritized manner.

FAO and WHO have identified a list of data requirements and expertise to first assist in the ranking of priorities and secondly to be used as the basis for the elaboration of scientific advice. More details can be found in the calls for data and experts.