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Codex60 / Launch of standard for labelling of non-retail containers of foods


In 2022 the Codex Secretariat began work on reviewing the formatting and layout of Codex texts to ensure consistency, to meet FAO and international publishing standards and to enhance readability. A digital object identifier (DOI) has also been added to standards as they are published, providing a unique reference that can support tracking and citation of each text. The project is part of the Codex Secretariat’s contribution to the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

The General standard for the labelling of non-retail containers of foods (CXS 346-2021) was the first text on food labelling to undergo this process and on Tuesday 16 May 2023, during the current session of the Codex Committee on Food Labelling, taking place in Gatineau, Canada the text was presented to the team that led the work; India, Canada, Costa Rica and the United States of America.

Aditya Jain, India, who chaired the working group said: “Codex Alimentarius continues to evolve and so should its accessibility. Ensuring consistency in format, uniform referencing, and introduction of DOI are all steps that will provide better reading experience, mnemonics, permanent identity and thereby rapid and easy access to all Codex texts. Keep up the good work. Congratulations!”

“The improvements that the Codex Secretariat is making to Codex texts promote a global and harmonized approach towards food safety and quality,” said Melina Flores Rodríguez, Costa Rica. “This in turn enhances their understanding among users and makes them more accessible to a wider audience, strengthening confidence in international food standards. This is especially relevant in an international context, where different countries and organizations work together to establish food standards that contain crucial information to protecting public health and ensuring fair practices in the food trade.”

Kathy Twardek, CCFL Chairperson said: “This new format is amazing, the efficient tracking of changes and referencing capabilities will undoubtedly improve readability. The standard for the labelling of non-retail containers is a great piece of work, it modernizes labelling for foods sold higher up in the supply chain – a mix of the past and future – with labelling on the container and labelling that can be provided by other means, such as through the use of technology.  The best of both worlds – with an excellent, technology-enhanced presentation.”


Learn more

Download the standard in English in the new format.

Download Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish versions (new format available soon).


Photo credit ©FAO/Codex Canada

(l to r) Melina Flores Rodríguez (Costa Rica), Kathy Twardek (CCFL Chairperson), Alison Wereley (CCFL Canadian Secretariat), Aditya Jain (India), Andrea Krause (USA), and Nancy Ing (CCFL Canadian Secretariat).