In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO)of the United Nations designated June 7 to be World Food Safety Day.
The goal of World Food Safety Day was to assist, avoid, detect and control foodborne risks and promote values and practices to help food healthy.
In addition, this day was designated to highlight the burden of foodborne infections, especially on the marginalised rural and poor communities, and disproportionately affects children under the age of five.
By increasing awareness, the objective is to minimise possible health concerns and risks posed by foodborne diseases.
Let us learn more about World Food Safety Day and why it is celebrated globally.
World Food Safety Day History
- The first International Food Safety Day was celebrated on June 7, 2019
- It was jointly facilitated by the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organisation (FOA), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and member states and organisations
- The celebration took place at the Addis Ababa Conference and the Geneva Forum 2019, under The Future of Food Safety
- World Food Safety Day aims to draw attention to and inspire action toward preventing, detecting, and mitigating foodborne risks
- India is one of the 189 members that support World Food Safety Day
- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has created five parameters to measure the performance of States on food safety
- These parameters include - Human Resources & Institutional Arrangements, Compliance, Food Testing Infrastructure & Surveillance, Training, and Capacity Building, and Consumer Empowerment
World Food Safety Day Significance
- One in ten people globally falls ill by consuming contaminated food
- Each year, an estimated 700,000 people die due to antimicrobial infections introduced via food
- Over 200 diseases are caused by eating contaminated food containing bacteria, parasites, viruses, chemical substances, or plastic
- Children under the age of five are at a higher risk due to unsafe food
- One in six deaths is caused due to diarrhoea and other foodborne diseases
- Thus, governments, policy-makers, practitioners, and investors should reorient their focus on food safety and create provisions across the value chain to ensure that food safety and health are monitored and improved sustainably.
World Food Safety Day Theme
- The theme for International Food Safety Day 2022 is Safer Food, better health
- The slogan is a reminder that keeping food safe is a collective responsibility - we need to prioritise food safety throughout the supply chain, from farming to the food served on our table
In 2021, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare virtually attended the World Food Safety Day celebrations organised by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
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Given the risk and long-term damage that is done due to foodborne illnesses, instilling healthy food practices and hygienic behaviour is a top focus for India and the world.
Moreover, being an agricultural nation, India needs to cue from the lessons shared on International Food Safety Day and ensure healthy practices in farm markets, warehouses, stores, and even in kitchens or until the food is served.
FAQs on World Food Safety Day
Q.1. Who started World Food Safety Day?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO)of the United Nations declared June 7 as World Food Safety Day.
Q.2. What was the theme of World Food Safety Day 2021?
The theme of the World Food Safety Day 2021 was Safe Food For A Healthy Tomorrow.
Q.3. What is the theme of World Food Safety Day 2022?
The theme for World Food Safety Day 2022 is Safer Food, Better Health.
Q.4. Why do we celebrate World Food Safety Day?
World Food Safety Day is an annual celebration to draw attention to and take action to prevent and manage foodborne risks and improves human health.
Q.5. Is World Food Day & World Food Safety Day the same?
No, World Food Day is celebrated on October 16 and focuses on eliminating poverty, hunger, and malnutrition. However, World Food Safety Day is celebrated on June 7 each year to bring attention to the need and lessons of safe food habits.