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Case study / Codex standards help improve food safety in Thailand


The value of Thai food exports increased by nearly 25 percent in the three years to 2018 and some Thai food companies are reporting recent sales increases of between 20 and 30 percent. This is all because the Thai government has been vigorously promoting the Hygiene Analysis and Critical Control Points system (HACCP) in food establishments. HACCP involves identifying where food safety hazards can arise and adopting measures to mitigate them.

A new case study published by Codex demonstrates the impact that adoption of science-based food standards can have. In this case, the Thai government adopted into law Codex’s General Principles of Food Hygiene (CXC 1-1969), which includes guidelines on the application of HACCP as one of its annexes. The Thai government made HACCP non-mandatory, but highly recommended. With training-of-trainers assistance from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the government ensured HACCP training across private companies – especially small businesses, government departments and academia. Now, after 25 years of work promoting HACCP, the country is reaping the rewards in improved food safety at home and robust and competitive food exports.

Codex work on HACCP is constantly evolving. Advice on the system was updated by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 2020 and the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH), meeting in March 2022, is devising a ‘decision tree’ to facilitate adoption of HACCP. This will be a visual aid to help decision makers identify their ideal HACCP pathway. For Lígia Schreiner from the Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency - ANVISA, the General Principles of Food Hygiene with its diagrams and annexes is essential to ensure food safety. "The decision tree plays an important role, because it is a useful tool for food business operators to identify Critical Control Points that are fundamental for the implementation of HACCP," she said. 

Pisan Pongsapitch from Thailand’s National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards, said: “the decision tree is the last and important part that makes the HACCP implementation complete.”


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