Agreement On Food Safety
International trade rules continue to change as they adapt to the global economy. Rights and obligations under international trade agreements have challenged the balance of food security, food regulation and trade flows. Article 20 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) allows governments to act in trade to protect the life or health of humans, animals or plants, unless they discriminate or use it as protectionism in disguise. In addition, two specific WTO agreements deal with food safety and animal and plant health and safety, as well as product standards in general. Both are trying to figure out how to respond to the need to apply standards while avoiding disguised protectionism. These issues are increasingly important due to falling customs barriers, with some comparing them to the sea rocks that occur at low tide. In both cases, it is less likely that a country, when applying international standards, will be legally challenged in the WTO than if it sets its own standards. The agreement still allows countries to apply different standards and different methods of product inspection. So how can an exporting country be sure that the practices it applies to its products are acceptable in an importing country? If an exporting country can demonstrate that the measures it applies to its exports achieve the same level of human health protection as in the importing country, the importing country is expected to accept the standards and methods of the exporting country.
The Agreement contains provisions on control, inspection and authorisation procedures. Governments should inform new or amended sanitary and phytosanitary legislation in advance and establish a national information body providing information. The agreement complements the agreement on technical barriers to trade. The evaluation of the implementation of the HACCP system in contract catering companies and the evaluation of the knowledge, attitudes and practices of grocers were the main objectives of this study. It was carried out in 20 companies throughout Spain, with a visual inspection of the establishments and activities of grocers, as well as the distribution of a self-managing questionnaire among the 105 participating catering workers. In addition, samples of finished surfaces and tableware were taken from each kitchen for microbiological evaluation. The results of the questionnaires reflect a broad knowledge and correct behaviour of respondents with an average or higher level of education, stability in the same workplace and more responsible positions. However, the observation of hygiene practices revealed systematic errors in 60% of the kitchens. Most of the variations observed were related to lack of HACCP training and information, temperature of finished dishes, storage areas, and proper cleaning and disinfection. In summary, this study confirms the inherent difficulties of the restoration company in the effective implementation of the HACCP system, such as. B the lack of well-trained staff, the lack of motivation or responsibility of workers in this system and the lack of financial and economic resources to remedy the shortcomings of the establishments.
Specific education programmes and grants are needed for proper implementation of HACCP in this sector. The agreement also contains a code of conduct for governments and non-governmental or industrial organizations for the preparation, adoption and implementation of voluntary standards. More than 200 standards bodies apply the code. Strengthening intra-African agricultural trade is an opportunity to both boost economic growth and improve access to safe and nutritious food across borders. . . .