76. The Delegation of France introduced the document (CX/FH 00/5) which was prepared by a drafting group. The Delegation informed the Committee that it was made clearer in the revised draft that fresh fruit and vegetable juice were outside of the scope of the Code. The Delegation further stated that the drafting group, which discussed both the Code and the Proposed Draft Code of Hygienic Practice for the Primary Production and Packing of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, considered the possibility to consolidate the two Codes and that most of the delegations at the drafting group were favourable to merging the two codes.
77. The Committee expressed its appreciation to the Delegation of France and the drafting group for their valuable work. It discussed the appropriateness of merging the two Codes and agreed to attach the Code to the Proposed Draft Code of Hygienic Practice for the Primary Production and Packing of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in the form of Annex. The Committee also agreed to inform the 24th Session of the Commission accordingly. Following this decision, the Committee further agreed that the Code for pre-cut fruits and vegetables should avoid duplication with the Code for fresh fruits and vegetables and that only the provisions specific to pre-cut fruits and vegetables should appear on the code for pre-cut fruits and vegetables.
78. The Committee discussed the Code section by section, and made the following changes in addition to several editorial changes. The Committee noted that the words Ready-to-eat fresh should appear on the title to more precisely reflect the scope of the Code. In Section 2.1 on Scope, the Committee agreed to revise the text to further clarify that fresh fruit and vegetable juices are not covered by this code. In Section 2.3 on Definitions, the definitions on clean water, potable water, and micro-organisms were deleted as those definitions are covered by the Code for the Proposed Draft Code of Hygienic Practice for the Primary Production and Packing of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.
79. In Section 22.214.171.124 on Receipt of raw materials and in Section 126.96.36.199 Trimming/Coring/ Inspection of Raw Materials, the delegation of Germany proposed to replace the word truck with the words vehicles and containers as truck was not the only mean for transportation. The Committee agreed to replace the word truck with food transportation unit in accordance with the Code of Hygienic Practice for the Transport of Foodstuffs in Bulk and Semi-Packed Foodstuffs. Several delegations proposed that these two sections could be combined into a section entitled Receipt and inspection of raw material as both sections deal with raw materials. The Committee accepted this proposal and also agreed to add an additional sentence regarding trimming, rotting and moulding. The Delegation of the United States expressed the view that the two sections should be kept separated as the key concepts in the two sections were different.
80. In Section 188.8.131.52 on Washing and decontamination, some delegations stated that the provisions under this section were common to the Code for Fresh Fruit and Vegetables and that the reference to that Code was sufficient in order to avoid redundancy. Other delegations pointed out that washing and decontamination of pre-cut fruits and vegetables required special care different from that of fresh fruits and vegetables in primary production and that washing should be done by potable water. The Delegation of France indicated that potable water was not always used in the process for producing pre-cut fruits and vegetables and the quality of the water depended on the steps of the cleaning. The Committee noted these comments and agreed to amend the title and add a sentence to read as follows: Water used for final rinses should be of potable quality, particularly for these products as they are not likely to be washed before consumption.
81. In Section 184.108.40.206 on Cold Storage, the Delegation of Belgium pointed out that special conditions should apply to the cold storage of pre-cut fruits and vegetables to minimize microbiological growth. The Committee agreed on this point and the section was amended accordingly. In Section 5.7 on Documentation and Record, the word where appropriate were added to improve the flexibility of the Code in application of small businesses. In Section 10.2 on Training Programs, importance of temperature control and GMP were added as a subject to be covered as part of training.
Status of the Proposed Draft Code of Hygienic Practice for Ready-to-Eat Fresh Pre-cut Fruits and Vegetables
82. The Committee agreed to attach the Proposed Draft Code of Hygienic Practice for Ready-to-Eat Fresh Fruits and Vegetables to the Proposed Draft Code of Hygienic Practice for the Primary Production and Packing of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in the form of an Annex, and advance it to the 24th Session of the Commission for adoption at Step 5 (see also paragraph 75).