ROME — The Codex Alimentarius Commission (C.A.C.), a joint working group between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization, has adopted 30 new food safety guidelines. Included in the initiatives are efforts to reduce the presence of acrylamide in foods and reduce the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods. The group also launched a project designed to establish maximum levels of melamine in food and feed.

"The standards and guidelines adopted this week will make a positive impact on the lives of people around the world," said Karen Hulebak, chairman of the C.A.C. "The commission is working faster than ever before to address the most pressing food safety challenges we face."

For acrylamide, the C.A.C. approved measures for reducing the formation of the compound in foods. The "code of practice" will provide authorities on the national and local level, as well as food processors, with guidance to prevent and reduce the formation of acrylamide in potato products during all phases of the production process. Acrylamide is considered a possible human carcinogen.

The C.A.C. also adopted parameters for microbiological testing and environmental monitoring for Listeria monocytogenes in R.-T.-E. foods. A maximum level was set for foods where the bacteria may not grow. In R.-T.-E. products, where growth is possible, no Listeria will be allowed.

To learn more about the recently adopted C.A.C. standards and other initiatives, visit