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Codex Alimentarius

The Codex Alimentarius Commission was created in 1963 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop food standards, guidelines and related texts such as codes of practice under the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.

Codex Alimentarius, or “the food code”, is the global reference for governments, the food industry, trade operators and consumers. The main purposes of Codex are protecting the health of consumers, ensuring fair practices in the food trade, and promoting coordination of all food standards work undertaken by international governmental and non-governmental organizations. Codex safety standards are benchmark standards under the World Trade Organization Sanitary and Phytosanitary (WTO/SPS) agreements and also serve as point of reference for the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO/TBT) agreement for issues not related to food safety.

Codex has developed several standards for milk and milk products. Codex guidelines for dairy are:

Standards for milk products:

Horizontal cheese standards:

Individual cheese standards:

General texts for milk and milk products:

Codex has also developed a number of texts on food labelling, methods of analysis and sampling, food import and export, and certification systems that apply horizontally to all food products (including milk and milk products), such as:

Updated in March 2019