The World Food Safety Day is celebrated on June 7 every year to mark the importance of clean and hygienic food.
The day aims to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development.
This year, i.e. on June 7, 2021, the global food safety watchdogs are especially highlighting the risks associated with harmful eating practices, in the backdrop of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, which is believed to have begun spreading among humans two years ago from a ‘wet market’ in China’s Wuhan.
Theme of World Food Safety Day 2021:
- The official theme for World Food Safety Day 2021 is “Safe food today for a healthier tomorrow”.
- With this theme, the United Nations aims at creating a safe environment where people do not have to worry about the diseases caused by food.
- They aim at spreading awareness on the topic so that proper measures are taken to provide the people with clean and uncontaminated food and water.
- The UN believes that the goal can only be achieved when governments, consumers and producers join hands and work collaterally to free the world of foodborne diseases.
- The World Health Assembly (WHA) passed a resolution on August 3, 2020, to declare June 7 – the World Food Safety Day.
- Under this programme, The World Health Organization (WHO) collaborated with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to celebrate World Food Safety Day on June 7, every year.
- The organization believes that food safety subsequently affects national and global growth with a significant impact on the economy and well-being of the people.
5 reasons why food safety is critical:
- Food security
- Good health
- Livelihoods of people globally
- Economic development
Importance of Food Safety:
Since foodborne diseases are usually invisible to the eye and infectious or toxic in nature, Food safety has a critical role in assuring that food stays safe at every stage of the food chain – from production to harvest, processing, storage, distribution, all the way to preparation and consumption.
A key precaution is preventing contamination through bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemical substances.
Ensuring food safety:
- Raw food and vegetables must be washed thoroughly
- Food must be cooked thoroughly
- Food kept in utensils should be covered
- Raw and cooked food must be kept separately
- Food should be kept at safe temperatures
- Clean water must be used for cooking
Note: An estimated 420 000 people around the world die every year after eating contaminated food and children under 5 years of age carry 40% of the foodborne disease burden, with 125 000 deaths every year,” UN notes.