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ANNEX 1. Glossary


A systematic examination to determine whether what is actually happening complies with documented procedures.

Codex Alimentarius Commission

The Codex Alimentarius Commission is a subsidiary body of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization. The Commission is entrusted with the elaboration of international standards of food to protect the health of consumers and to ensure fair practices in the food trade.

Codex Committees

These subsidiary bodies of the Codex Alimentarius Commission include nine general subject committees, fifteen specific commodity committees, six regional coordinating committees and time-limited ad-hoc Intergovernmental Task Forces on specific subjects.

Critical Control Point

A step at which control is essential to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level.


The process of recognition that enables the sanitary and phytosanitary measures employed in one country to be deemed equivalent to those of a second country, trading in the same product, although different control measures are being practised.


Includes all steps involved in the production, storage, handling, distribution and preparation of a food product.

Food Contaminant

Any biological or chemical agent, foreign matter, or other substance not intentionally added to food which may compromise food safety or suitability.

Food Control

A mandatory regulatory activity of enforcement by national or local authorities to provide consumer protection and ensure that all foods during production, handling, storage, processing and distribution are safe, wholesome and fit for human consumption; conform to quality and safety requirements; and are honestly and accurately labelled as prescribed by law.

Food Hygiene

All conditions and measures necessary to ensure the safety and suitability of food at all stages of the food chain.

Food Inspection

The examination, by an agency empowered to perform regulatory and/or enforcement functions, of food products or systems for the control of raw materials, processing, and distribution. This includes in-process and finished product testing to verify that they conform to regulatory requirements.

Food Surveillance

The continuous monitoring of the food supply to ensure consumers are not exposed to components in foods, such as chemical contaminants or biological hazards, which pose a risk to health.

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)

Practices of primary food producers (such as farmers and fishermen) that are necessary to produce safe and wholesome agricultural food products conforming to food laws and regulations.

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)

Conformance with codes of practice, industry standards, regulations and laws concerning production, processing, handling, labelling and sale of foods decreed by industry, local, state, national and international bodies with the intention of protecting the public from illness, product adulteration and fraud.


Genetically modified organism.


Plan A document prepared in accordance with the principles of HACCP to ensure control of hazards which are significant for food safety in the segment of the food chain under consideration.

HACCP System

The hazard analysis critical control point system (HACCP) is a scientific and systematic way of enhancing the safety of foods from primary production to final consumption through the identification and evaluation of specific hazards and measures for their control to ensure the safety of food. HACCP is a tool to assess hazards and establish control systems that focus on prevention rather than relying mainly on end-product testing.


A biological, chemical or physical agent in, or condition of, food with the potential to cause harm.

Hazard Analysis

The process of collecting and interpreting information on hazards and conditions leading to their presence to decide which are significant for food safety and therefore should be addressed in the HACCP plan.


Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives.


Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues.


In a HACCP plan, the act of conducting a planned sequence of observations or measurements of control parameters to assess whether a critical control point is under control.


Regulatory impact assessment.

Risk Analysis

A process consisting of three components: risk assessment, risk management and risk communication.

Risk Assessment

A scientifically based process consisting of the following steps: hazard identification, hazard characterization, exposure assessment, and risk characterization.

Risk Characterization

The qualitative and/or quantitative estimation, including attendant uncertainties, of the probability of occurrence and severity of known or potential adverse health effects in a given population based on hazard identification, hazard characterization and exposure assessment.

Risk Communication

The interactive exchange of information and opinions concerning risks among risk assessors, risk managers, consumers and other interested parties.

Risk Management

The process of weighing policy alternatives in the light of results of risk assessment, and, if required, selecting and implementing appropriate control options, including regulatory measures.


Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO).


Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO).


In HACCP, the use of methods, procedures, or tests in addition to those used in monitoring to determine compliance with the HACCP plan, and/or whether the HACCP plan needs modification in order to enhance food safety.


The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the international organization that establishes the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world's trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business.

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