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Module 6.1. Contaminant Monitoring Part 1 – Promoting food safety along the food chain. To make stakeholders aware of the importance of the role of monitoring programmes in assuring food safety To make stakeholders aware of main considerations in planning monitoring programmes. Objectives.

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Contaminant Monitoring Part 1 – Promoting food safety along the food chain


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    1. Module 6.1 Contaminant MonitoringPart 1 – Promoting food safetyalong the food chain

    2. To make stakeholders aware of the importance of the role of monitoring programmes in assuring food safety To make stakeholders aware of main considerations in planning monitoring programmes Objectives Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    3. What is contaminant monitoring and how does it contribute to food safety Factors to consider in the design and operation of monitoring programmes International guidelines on food contaminants and use of food contaminant monitoring data internationally Outline of presentation Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    4. What are contaminants? Contaminants Any substance not intentionally added to food, which is present in such food as a result of the production, manufacture, processing, treatment, packing, packaging, transport or holding of such food or as a result of environmental contamination Codex definition Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    5. What is monitoring? Possible working definition The act of carrying out planned observations, measurements, etc in order to collect, review and use information for a stated goal (to assess a particular situation) Food contaminant monitoring The act of carrying out planned observations or measurements related to the occurrence of food contaminants in order to collect and analyse information needed to achieve stated food safety goals Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    6. To protect public health From chemical and microbiological hazards Through proactive, preventative programmes based on scientific evidence By enabling better prioritisation of food control resources By regular evaluation of efficacy of existing food safety measures Why contaminant monitoring? Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    7. To facilitate food trade By providing a scientific base to support food safety decisions By developing consumer or importer trust through demonstrated commitment to food safety Through improved transparency by making contaminant data widely available Why contaminant monitoring? Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    8. Food-borne hazards • Monitoring programmesprovide information on occurrence of hazards • A hazard is: A biological, chemical or physical agent in, or condition of, food with the potential to cause an adverse health effect • Hazards can include • Micro-organisms • Heavy metals and environmental contaminants • Residues of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals • Naturally-occurring toxins Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    9. Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by a number of moulds while growing on a range of foods The elimination of this naturally occurring toxin from the food supply is not possible – good food safety management allows the reduction of these hazards to tolerable levels Public health risks are associated with acute and chronic exposure to mycotoxins Mycotoxin monitoring programmes exist in many countries Mycotoxins –an important food safety hazard Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    10. Food industry Is responsible for ensuring that food produced is safe and meets all requirements established by government Government Is responsible for establishing food safety requirements for industry to meet Should ensure compliance with food safety requirements Responsibilities for food safety Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    11. Why are they responsible for food safety? They are in the best position to prevent or minimise the occurrence of hazards by implementing adequate food safety management programmes throughout the food chain Adequate food safety management is part of the ‘cost’ of doing business – they should bear this cost They can benefit through increased consumer confidence (and reduced loses) Economic operators in the food chain Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    12. Government has a responsibility to defend public interests – such as public health Government must safeguard the country’s economic interest by assuring importing countries that their food safety requirements are met Government’s interest in food safety Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    13. Maintaining adequate quality assurance programmes GHP in primary production Raw material control systems Cleaning, sanitation and pest control Process controls Proper storage and transportation Document control systems Carrying out periodic monitoring to verify that standard operating procedures and quality/safety assurance programmes are functioning well How does industry meet itsfood safety responsibilities? Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    14. Communication with economic operators at all stages of the food chain and consumers on food safety issues Establishment of appropriate legislation and regulations Economic operators should be consulted during the process of elaborating legislation and regulations Legislation and regulations should be consistent with international guidelines and regulations Training and other technical support to industry Government has an important role to play in assisting economic operators to understand and meet their food safety obligations Technical support to economic operators must be tailored to their needs – this is particularly important for small enterprises How does government meet itsfood safety responsibilities? Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    15. Implementation of controls to ensure compliance Adequate resources are necessary to run compliance programmes Monitoring programmes allow verification that food safety measures are effective How does government meet itsfood safety responsibilities? Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    16. Module 6.1 Contaminant MonitoringPart 2 – Design andoperation of programmes

    17. Deciding what contaminants might be of public health concern Providing data for risk assessment of contaminants thought to present a substantial public health risk Allowing assessment of risk management options for handling specific problem Allows continual evaluation of adequacy of existing food safety measures / suitability of food handling practices Can facilitate pro-active food safety programming Monitoring data – basis for decision-making Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    18. Demonstrates commitment to food safety Making data available to stakeholders can build trust Trust can lead to improved cooperation – nationally and internationally Monitoring data –building stakeholder confidence Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    19. First step should be a clear statement of programme objectives May serve to give a general picture of exposure to contaminants and toxins Can be used to investigate some specific problem May allow evaluation of effectiveness of a particular food safety measure Can allow assessment of impact of new industry practices Etc... Contaminant monitoring –initial planning Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    20. The better the background information, the better the planning of a monitoring programme Scope for collaboration with industry and trade bodies, other government or research institutions? Other agencies/groups might be interested in collaborating in monitoring programme Staff and financial resources to support monitoring programmes are important considerations Contaminant monitoring –joint planning? Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    21. Must be well matched with stated objectives Should take into consideration compounds that are likely to be of public health significance Should take into consideration factors known to affect level of contaminant (climatic conditions, geology, processing/ handling methods) Contaminant monitoring –programme design Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    22. Should select appropriate matrices (target tissues) for sampling and testing Should include the statistical basis for the sampling plan and analysis of results Should take into consideration available resources (technical and financial) to support the programme Contaminant monitoring –programme design Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    23. Describe sampling procedures including sample selection, collection, identification and security Describe analytical methods, document that they are validated and consistent with stated objectives of monitoring programme Contaminant monitoring –programme operation Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    24. Module 6.1 Contaminant MonitoringPart 3 – The international context

    25. Codex standards and guidelines are recognised by the WTO as the benchmark for safety of food in international trade Codex Alimentarius Commission has adopted many standards, guidelines and maximum levels relevant to monitoring programmes for food contaminants and other hazards Codex food safety standards are based on risk analysis Codex and food safety Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    26. Takes a ‘horizontal’ approach to dealing with contaminants and toxins in food and feed (does not cover residues of vet. drugs or pesticides) Outlines general principles on contaminants in foods Emphasis on prevention measures Risk assessment is necessary when contaminated foods pose a health hazard Risk management policy must be applied to deal with substantiated public health concerns National measures should not be unnecessarily trade restrictive Codex General Standard on Contaminants and Toxins in Foods Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    27. States principles for establishing maximum levels Max. level of a contaminant in a food should only be set when the food contributes significantly to total exposure All technological possibilities to comply with max. levels should be taken into account Outlines criteria to be considered when making recommendations on contaminants in Codex, covering Toxicological information Analytical data Intake data Fair trade considerations Technological considerations Risk assessment and risk management considerations Codex General Standard on Contaminants and Toxins in Foods Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    28. Methyl mercury in some fish Vinyl Chloride and Acrylonitrile in food and packaging material Maximum level and sampling plan for aflatoxin in peanuts (for further processing) Radionuclides in foods Aflatoxin M1 in milk Patulin in apple juice Arsenic, Cadmium and Lead in various product groups Codex maximum and guideline levelsfor contaminants Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    29. Database of Codex maximum levels are available from the Codex website Codex MRLs for pesticides - 2466 Codex EMRLs* - 50 Codex MRLs for vet. drugs - 289 * Extraneous maximum residue limit for contaminants arising from environmental sources, including former agricultural use Codex maximum levelsfor chemical residues Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    30. The Global Environmental Monitoring System/Food contamination and assessment programme was established in 1976 GEMS/Food is implemented by WHO in cooperation with a network of collaborating institutions in over 70 countries GEMS/Food contaminant databases are available at the WHO web site GEMS/Food periodically prepares assessment documents to provide a global overview of problems of chemicals in food GEMS/Food Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    31. GEMS/Food informs governments, Codex Alimentarius Commission and other relevant institutions as well as general public On levels and trends of contaminants in foods Contribution of contaminants in foods to total human exposure Monitoring data is used in carrying out international risk assessments Use of GEMS/Food monitoring data Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    32. Codex • Maximum levels • Guidelines and Codes of practice Results of risk assessment Contaminant monitoring programmes Scientific Advisory bodies - JECFA, JMPR, JEMRA • Patterns of contamination, • Exposure data Use of monitoring data infood safety decision-making Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    33. Aflatoxin in peanuts - comparison of public health significance of maximum levels of 10 and 15g/kg Aflatoxin M1 in milk - public health significance of maximum levels of 0.05 vs. 0.5g/kg Ochratoxin A in cereal products - public health significance of maximum levels of 5 vs. 20g/kg Recent JECFA riskassessments of mycotoxins Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring

    34. Contaminant monitoring is an important component of food control programmes Data from monitoring programmes strengthen risk assessment and risk management decisions at international and national levels Monitoring programmes must be carefully designed and implemented according to stated objectives Collaboration among stakeholder groups should lead to better planning of monitoring programmes and optimal use of available resources in their implementation Adequate food analysis capability and capacity is essential to support contaminant monitoring programmes Conclusions Module 6.1 – Contaminant Monitoring