The Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling held its 38th Session in Budapest, Hungary, from 8 to 12 May 2017. The Session was attended by 47 Member countries, 1 Member Organisation and Observers from 11 international organisations.
Under UK law, local authorities and food business operators can call upon the Government Chemist to arbitrate technical disputes on analytical or interpretation issues in food analysis. Incorrect sampling, analysis or interpretation can lead to disputes, and it is therefore important that the Government Chemist contributes to and keeps informed of international Codex developments.
Selvarani Elahi, representing the UK Government Chemist, attended as part of the UK delegation together with colleagues from the Food Standards Agency and the Association of Public Analysts.
The meeting considered methods of analysis for Codex standards and testing in relation to international food trade. Participants discussed analytical methods for safety issues, including allergens, mycotoxins and metals, and food quality. Sampling plans, measurement uncertainty, equivalency of methods, method performance criteria for multi-component methods, criteria for biological methods to detect chemicals of concern and Codex general guidelines for sampling were also discussed in order to reach a global consensus on the best approaches to use.
The draft report of the meeting is available from the Codex Alimentarius website.