United Nations Holds First Ever World Food Safety Day

The United Nations aims to promote awareness about food safety by celebrating the first ever United Nations World Food Safety Day on the 7th of June this year.

Led by the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization, the event hopes to promote global awareness when it comes to food safety, which affects over 600 million people annually and results in about 420,000 fatalities every year. Food safety is a major concern in many developing countries with low-to-middle income economies, as productivity plummets and creates up to 95 billion US dollars in losses associated with sickness, disability, and premature worker death from mishandled food.

This year’s World Food Safety Day centers around the theme that food safety is everyone’s business. Director-General to the FAO José Graziano da Silva claims that there can be no food security without food safety and urges everyone, from farmers and suppliers all the way down to the consumers, to be more aware of the dangers of unsafe food.


Food Safety Fact Sheet

Almost 1 in 10 people become sick from consuming contaminated food, amounting to 600 million people per year and 420,000 fatalities.

With 125,000 deaths per year, children below the age of 5 carry 40% of the burden of foodborne disease.

Mishandled food is subject to bacteria, parasites and viruses that then enter the body when it is consumed.

Socioeconomic development is heavily impacted by unsafe food as it creates losses in national economies, trade and tourism, and stresses health care systems.


How to Participate

Every June 7th starting from 2019 will highlight the benefits of safe food and how it can contribute to ending world hunger and ensuring food security for all. Everyone can help, by following these five steps mandated by the FAO and WHO:

  • Ensure food is safe. Governments are urged to have more stringent standards when it comes to food safety so that safe and nutritious food can be made accessible to everyone.
  • Grow it safe. The agricultural sector where we source most of our food is urged to adopt good hygiene and growing practices.
  • Keep it safe. Food should be transported, stored, and prepared safely; this responsibility falls toward produce and food business owners.
  • Check it’s safe. Consumers can keep themselves protected when they have access to relevant and meaningful information about their food choices.
  • Team up for safety. Working together on food safety issues is a synergistic effort between governments, developmental agencies, regional trade and economic bodies, academic institutions and the private sector.

(via WHO)

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