Selection and Use of Acceptance Criteria
Available statistics for the volume of food crossing borders between countries, or being shipped from a seller to a buyer, are estimates that may represent only the tip of the ice-berg. For example, the number of formal customs entries for foods imported into the US is about 1.5 million each year (Schultz, 1997). All these products should be safe and of suitable quality. However, the safety of a product is seldom verifiable by tasting or other organoleptic examination, although appearance and odor can suggest a hazardous product under certain circumstances. Foods of questionable safety should never be tasted. Thus, buyers and consumers must rely on the supplier to deliver ingredients or food with the expected level of safety or on government control for domestic and imported foods. This expectation occurs all along the food chain. In many instances, the buyer (a food manufacturer, retailer, etc.) or an inspector, for example, at port-of-entry has no reliable means to check the safety of incoming raw materials or finished products. There is, however, a difference in the relationship between commercial buyers and consumers. Usually, there is a business deal between commercial partners, and product liability is an important issue. Also, industry buyers can impose specifications for the food being purchased and a variety of options to verify compliance.
KeywordsWorld Trade Organization Acceptance Criterion Codex Alimentarius Commission Sanitary Measure Microbiological Criterion
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