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Workshop in Honduras promotes safe use and reuse of water


The National Health and Agri-Food Safety Service (SENASA) of Honduras held a workshop to familiarize government officials, industry and academia with the text and tools contained in the guidelines for the safe use and reuse of water in food production and processing, which are up for adoption at the upcoming Codex Alimentarius Commission meeting (CAC46). Work to develop these guidelines for the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH) was led by Honduras, together with Chile and the European Union.

Mirian Bueno, technical director of food safety at SENASA, started the session by explaining what Codex is and how a Codex Trust Fund project in Honduras has helped the country develop its national Codex capacities. She then explained how the guidelines should work and introduced the decision trees that have been developed to help food businesses ensure the safe and efficient use of water.

Participants examining the decision tree

A workshop attendee discusses a decision tree on the safe reuse of water with other participants

“The workshop was a great opportunity to bring together experts from different backgrounds to discuss how the guidelines can be put into practice. By using the decision tree tools and risk matrices in hypothetical cases, participants were able to get a new perspective that water with different microbiological qualities other than potable water may be used along the food chain while ensuring the safety of the final product,” said Bueno. “It was very satisfying to hear that the risk approach was well understood by the participants, as they were able to present their discussions on how to properly source, use, and reuse water in different scenarios. It has been a rewarding experience for us to make the JEMRA scientific risk assessment and an international Codex standard that was led and validated in Honduras a year ago available for use by producers in our country.”   

Attendees broke out into groups to discuss how they would address a hypothetical situation needing more efficient and safe reuse of water in a poultry business. Using the decision trees provided, each group developed a plan and presented it to the workshop. A second breakout session saw them discuss their approach to risk analysis to assess water sources and their potential use in fresh produce by applying a fit-for-purpose approach.

After the workshop, participants joined the Codex@60 celebration with a video from the Secretariat, a Vice-Chair of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, and the current president of the FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean (CCLAC), with a virtual cake to wish Codex a Happy Birthday.


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46th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission CAC46


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