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UN Body Issues Guidance On Melamine Levels, Control Of Pathogen Contamination In Foods

July 6, 2010: 09:12 AM EST
The industrial chemical melamine, used to manufacture plastics used for dishware and kitchenware, is usually safe when traces get into foods by contact, but is poisonous at high levels. A United Nations food standards body has ruled that powdered infant formula can contain a maximum of only 1 mg/kg of melamine, while the maximum allowed in other foods is 2.5 mg/kg. The levels set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission are not legally binding, but set a standard by which countries may bar importation of products with excessive melamine levels. The Commission also provided guidance for each stage of production of fresh, leafy vegetables, from harvesting to distribution, to reduce contamination risks. Guidance on controlling bacteria in seafood along the food chain and aflatoxins in Brazil nuts was also provided.
WHO, "Food body sets rules for bagged salad, melamine use", Press Release, WHO, July 06, 2010, © World Health Organisation
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