Food Hygiene

Importance of HACCP for public health and development the role of the World Health Organization

Y. Motarjemi, F. Käferstein, G. Moy, S. Miyagawa and K. Miyagishima

Food Safety Unit, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Food Control
Volume 7, Issue 2, April 1996, Pages 77-85
Available online 8 March 1999.



In the 30 years since its conception, the HACCP system has grown to become the universally recognized and accepted method for food safety assurance. The recent and growing concern worldwide about food safety on the part of public health authorities, the food industry and consumers has been the major impetus in the application of the HACCP system. This concern has been substantiated by a significant increase in the incidence of foodborne diseases in many countries during recent years.

The World Health Organization has recognized the importance of the HACCP system for prevention of foodborne diseases for over 20 years and has played an important role in its development and promotion. One of the highlights in the history of the HACCP system was in 1993 when the Codex Guidelines for the Application of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system were adopted by the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission. The Codex Code on General Principles of Food Hygiene, presently under revision, will also include recommendations for the application of the Codex HACCP Guidelines. In turn, all relevant Codes of Hygienic Practice will need to be revised to include HACCP. The Codex Guidelines play a crucial role in the international harmonization of the approach towards the application of the HACCP system. Following the successful conclusion of the GATT Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations in April 1994, Codex standards, guidelines (including the Guidelines for the Application of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point System) and recommendations constitute the reference for food safety requirements in international trade.

This paper presents an overview of the need for the HACCP system, the progress made in its implementation, and the role that WHO has played in this regard. It also provides some highlights of a recent WHO consultation on the subject, with particular focus on its recommendations regarding the implementation of the HACCP system.

Article Outline

• References
*1 This paper has been prepared in connection with a WHO Consultation — held with the participation of FAO — on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point System: Concept and Application (Geneva, 29–31 May 1995). It is based on the papers prepared by individual participants and the report of the Consultation. The contributions of the participants are gratefully acknowledged.

Presented by F. Käferstein, Chief, Food Safety Unit, World Health Organization, at the 25th Congress of the World Veterinary Association, Yokohama, Japan, 3–9 September 1995.



Written by geraldmoy

March 25, 2011 at 2:14 pm