On September 25, 2020, the Codex Alimentarius Commission adopted the revised Code of Practice (General Principles of Food Hygiene (CXC 1-1969) and its HACCP annex). In this blog post, find out about some of the changes that may impact your food business.
Table of contents
Purpose of the Code
In an update posted on the FAO website, this code of practice provides “a common ground for the control of food safety worldwide and forms the basis for all other Codex hygiene texts and standards. The revision includes updates which will enable better application by food business operators, competent authorities and other stakeholders.
The code also provides more guidance on the important health issue of allergens which complements the adoption of a new Codex code of practice on allergen management. This revision helps countries maintain a continued safe supply of food at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to reinforce good hygiene practices”.
Structure of Codex HACCP 2020
The revised Codex HACCP consists of:
- Roles of Competent Authorities, Food Business Operators, and Consumers
- General Principles
- Management Commitment to Food Safety
- Chapter 1 which describes Good Hygiene Practices
- Chapter 2 which describes HACCP and guidelines for its application
- Annex 1 which provides a comparison of control measures applied as GHPs and those applied at Critical Control Points (CCPs) with examples.
- Diagram 1 – Logic Sequence for Application of HACCP
- Diagram 2 – Example of Hazard Analysis worksheet
What has changed from the previous Codex HACCP version?
There have been many changes made, both minor and major, compared to the previous 2003 code revision. Here is a summary of just some of the changes made.
The definitions section in Codex HACCP 2020 has been greatly expanded. As an example, there are new definitions included for acceptable level, competent authority, food hygiene system, good hygiene practices (GHPs) and prerequisite programme.
The definition of ‘validation’ has been removed and replaced with ‘validation of control measures’. The action of validating a control measure requires ensuring that the control measure selected is actually capable of controlling an identified hazard.
2. Using the Codex Decision Tree
An example of a decision tree to identify CCPs (commonly known as the Codex CCP Decision Tree) documented in the previous 2003 version has not been included at this stage. However, Codex HACCP 2020 still makes reference to using a decision tree or other approach to identify critical control points (CCPs). The CAC43 report notes that:
3. Training and Competence
The section on training and competence has been strengthened. There have been additional elements that are required to be taken into account when determining the extent of training required. Training should include:
- The use and maintenance of instruments and equipment associated with food
- The principles of food hygiene
- Control measures to prevent contaminants in food
- Good hygiene practices
- Corrective actions
If staff have direct customer interaction, for example in food service or retail operations, product knowledge training is recommended. To get customized training developed for your food business please click here. Refresher training has also been enhanced to include all personnel associated with the food business, not just food handlers. There is also a new requirement for record-keeping.
4. Food Safety Culture
One of the most significant changes is the inclusion of Food Safety Culture, which can be found in the section titled Management Commitment to Food Safety.
“Fundamental to the successful functioning of any food hygiene system is the establishment and maintenance of a positive food safety culture acknowledging the importance of human behaviour in providing safe and suitable food.”
5. Lot Identification and Traceability
The requirement for a traceability/product tracing system is a new requirement noted in Codex HACCP 2020. To learn how to design and implement a traceability system in your business please click here.
Learn more about Codex HACCP 2020
This post has touched on just a few of the changes made to the Codex HACCP 2020 code. To learn more about the new General Principles of Food Hygiene code (including HACCP) click the button below to register for HACCP Mentor’s free information webinar.