UN releases new regulations for melons and dried figs
The regulations are set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which is run by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO), setting a standard for national legislations and benchmarks for international trade.
An FAO release highlighted the increased popularity of pre-cut melon slices, which opens up the possibility of salmonella and listeria outbreaks due to the exposed pulp of the fruit.
The commission has recommended pre-cut melons be wrapped or packaged and refrigerated as soon as possible, and distributed at temperatures of 4⁰C (39⁰F) 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,” the release said.
The commission also raised concerns about toxic carcinogenic mycotoxins called ‘Aflatoxins’, which are produced by mold 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 micrograms/kg for dried figs, together with details on how test sampling should be conducted,” the release said.
The new rules also covered melamine, seafood and mandatory nutrition labeling. To read more click here.