2019 Theme: Food Safety, Everyone’s Business
The theme of this year’s inaugural World Food Safety Day invites us all to recognise that food safety is everyone’s business, whether at home, restaurants or food factories.
The way in which food is produced, stored, handled and consumed affects the safety of our food. Complying with Global food standards, establishing effective regulatory food control systems including emergency preparedness and response, providing access to clean water, applying good agriculture practices (terrestrial, aquatic, livestock, horticulture), strengthening the use of food safety management systems by food business operators, and building capacities of consumers to make healthy food choices are some ways in which governments, international organizations, scientists, the private sector and civil society work to ensure food safety. – UN
Food Safety and the United Nations
Keeping food safe is a complex process that starts on the farm and ends with the consumer. All stages of the food chain, from production, harvest and storage to preparation and consumption, must be considered. The Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO) is the only international organization overseeing food safety along with all aspects of the food chain.
Through a longstanding partnership, FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO) support global food safety and protect consumers’ health. FAO generally addresses food safety issues along the food chain during production and processing, while WHO typically oversees relationships with the public health sector. Safeguarding food so that it is safe to eat doesn’t stop with its purchase though. At home, consumers have a part to play in making sure that what they eat remains safe.
Cognizant of the urgent need to raise awareness at all levels and to promote and facilitate actions for global food safety, the General Assembly decided to designate 7 June as World Food Safety Day.
What is Food Safety?
Food Safety can be defined as handling, preparing and storing food or drink in a way that best reduces the risk of consumers becoming sick from food-borne disease. The principles of food safety aim to prevent food from becoming contaminated and causing food poisoning. With this in mind, ensuring that food is safe for human consumption is likely the most critical part of the food preparation process. This ranges from what is called farm to fork, meaning from the farms all the way to your plate. Check out our article on the food production chain and the possible ways contamination can happen.