Food is one of the significant parts and plays an essential role in everyone's life. Every process involved with food should be performed safely, more securely, and hygienically for the best results. Safe food gives a healthy life, society, economy, a healthy world, and a healthy future. Therefore, it is beneficial for everyone to practice food safety at all levels starting from home, to avoid and defeat various foodborne diseases. And for that purpose, we celebrate World Food Safety Day.
On this day, The World Health Organization (WHO) highlights that the production and utilization of safe food have an immediate and long-term advantage for people, the planet, and the economy.
The World Health Assembly (WHA) issued a resolution on August 3, 2020, to declare World Food Safety Day as an important day. This day strives to accelerate awareness at all levels about the importance of food safety, promote and initiate steps to prevent foodborne diseases at local, national, regional, and global levels, and strengthen international food safety efforts to reduce the burden of foodborne illnesses.
This year's World Food Safety Day theme is "Safe food today for a healthy tomorrow."
With this, the WHO encourages implementing the fact that the production and consumption of safe food have immediate and long-term benefits for humans and living beings, the planet, and the economy.
Before food reaches our kitchen tables, our meals should undergo specific, regulated practices during all stages of the food supply chain, including the growth, transport, preparation, and serving of food products. A lack of precautions to see if the food is safe for consumption means that foodborne diseases will be able to thrive to harm our physical and economic health. This could include bacteria, viruses, parasites, chemicals, and toxins in food. However, the responsibility to facilitate and maintain food safety is on all of us—from consumers to producers to governments.
Food security and safety go hand in hand. The World Health Organization states that "If it is not safe, it is not food," as it does not serve its purpose of providing proper and safe nutrition.
This has the most substantial impact on the poor, the young, and those living in low-income countries, who may not have access to safe and healthy food and water, creating a vast socio-economic issue needing urgent attention.
Since the pandemic, the global food safety watchdogs have highlighted 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 from a 'wet market' in China's Wuhan.
The requirement to introduce this day was considered in several sessions of the United Nations general assembly (UNGA) from 2016 onwards. As a result, on December 20, 2018, this assembly finalized a resolution to mark this day to "celebrate the myriad benefits of safe food."
On this day, the WHO works to mainstream food safety on the public agenda and reduce a load of foodborne diseases globally.
Since foodborne diseases are generally not visible to the eye and are infectious or toxic in nature, food safety has a critical role in assuring that food remains safe at all stages of the food chain. These levels include production to harvest, processing, storage, distribution, all the way to preparation and consumption.
A necessary precaution is preventing infection through bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemical substances. However, on World Food Safety Day, it must be mentioned that there is currently no evidence suggesting that the transmission of Covid-19 is associated with food.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that proper food safety etiquette is generally followed. This includes washing your hands with soap and water for about 20 seconds before cooking or eating food and keeping an eye on the possibility of contamination of food materials during its storage or packaging.
"Food safety is a shared responsibility between governments, producers, and consumers. Everyone has a role to play from farm to table to ensure the food we consume is safe and healthy," - WHO
"Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." - Hippocrates.
Join Project Global Cure to celebrate health by being more vigilant about our food and more conscious about our health.