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10 October 2008

ISO TC34/WG 10 Food Irradiation Meeting

Convenor Romina Garay (IRAM, Argentina) held the first meeting of WG 10 at the British Standards Institute (BSI) on 18-19 September to take advantage of industry experts in London attending IMRP 2008. Attendance included the ISO/TC 34 Secretary (Jean Baptiste Finidor, AFNOR France) and experts from five countries – 2 from Argentina, 1 from Australia, 2 from Canada, 2 from Thailand, and 4 from the UK. The USA and Philippine experts were unable to attend but provided written comments.
The goal of the meeting was to review all of the written comments provided with the balloting of the latest Working Draft ISO/WD 22008, Food irradiation – Requirements for the development, validation and routine control of the ionizing radiation process used for the treatment of food products. All comments were reviewed and decisions were made regarding the acceptance or rejection of the comments.
Since the Codex General Standard for Irradiated Foods forms the basis for many national regulations, the requirements of this ISO standard needs to be consistent with the Codex. Since many contract facilities may process both medical products and foods, it was also necessary that the structure of this standard be compatible with the ISO International Standard ISO 11137-1 for the Radiation Sterilization of Medical Products.
Many of the comments, including the written Canadian comments, suggested moving some of the descriptive portions of the standard to an informative annex to simplify the document and to be more consistent with ISO 11137-1. After extensive discussions, agreement was obtained on the restructuring of the standard and the acceptance of other proposed changes.
The convenor agreed to make the changes and to prepare a new draft to be submitted to the ISO/TC34 Secretary for the CD ballot. The 3-month CD ballot is expected to begin November 2008.