It’s World Food Safety Day, 7 June 2024

It's World Food Safety Day, 7 June 2024!

Access to safe food is fundamental to sustaining life and promoting good health. Foodborne illnesses, which are often undetectable by the naked eye, typically arise from infectious or toxic agents such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemical substances introduced into the body via contaminated food or water. Improving food safety is not merely a health concern but a critical component of ensuring the well-being of our communities and economic stability.

Food safety is essential at every stage of the food supply chain—from production and harvest to processing, storage, distribution, preparation, and consumption. Ensuring that food remains safe throughout these stages is pivotal in preventing foodborne illnesses and protecting public health.

On a global scale, unsafe food is responsible for an estimated 600 million cases of foodborne illnesses annually. This phenomenon represents a significant threat to human health and economic stability, disproportionately affecting vulnerable and marginalised populations, including women, children, and communities impacted by conflict or migration. Alarmingly, approximately 420,000 people worldwide die each year after consuming contaminated food. Children under the age of five bear 40% of the foodborne disease burden, resulting in 125,000 deaths annually.

Observed on 7 June, World Food Safety Day aims to draw attention to and inspire action to prevent, detect, and manage foodborne risks. This observance contributes to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism, and sustainable development. Jointly facilitated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, this international day offers an opportunity to strengthen efforts to ensure food safety and reduce the global burden of foodborne diseases.

Ensuring food safety is a collective responsibility, involving everyone in the food chain, whether in growing, processing, transporting, storing, distributing, selling, preparing, serving, or consuming food. Participation in World Food Safety Day is a vital part of this global effort. For inspiration, individuals and organisations can refer to the World Food Safety Day ‘How to Participate’ pages or review news items from past events.

Under the slogan “Food safety, everyone’s business,” this action-oriented campaign promotes global awareness and calls upon countries, decision-makers, the private sector, civil society, UN organisations, and the general public to take proactive measures. The safety of food is influenced by its production, storage, handling, and consumption practices.

Governments, international organisations, scientists, the private sector, and civil society can implement several strategies to ensure food safety, including:

  • Adhering to global food standards
  • Establishing effective regulatory food control systems, including emergency preparedness and response mechanisms
  • Providing access to clean water
  • Applying good agricultural practices across terrestrial, aquatic, livestock, and horticultural sectors
  • Strengthening the implementation of food safety management systems by food business operators
  • Enhancing consumer capacity to make informed, healthy food choices

Food safety is a shared responsibility spanning from farm to table. Every stakeholder must contribute to ensuring that the food we consume is safe and will not compromise our health. Through the observance of World Food Safety Day, WHO and FAO strive to prioritise food safety on the public agenda and reduce the prevalence of foodborne diseases globally.

Australia's Leadership in Food Safety

Australia is recognised globally for its robust food safety practices, which serve as a benchmark for other nations. Our stringent regulations, advanced food safety management systems, and commitment to continuous improvement have positioned Australia as a leader on the world stage. This leadership is evident through our proactive approaches to food safety, comprehensive training programs, and a culture that prioritises public health.

As a country, Australia exemplifies excellence in food safety, but maintaining this standard requires ongoing vigilance and compliance. It is imperative that all stakeholders, from producers to consumers, remain committed to following best practices and regulatory requirements. By doing so, we not only safeguard our health but also uphold Australia’s reputation as a global leader in food safety.

For more information and to stay compliant with the latest food safety standards, visit CFT Food Safety.

The imperative of enhancing food safety cannot be overstated. By working together, we can ensure the safety of our food, protect public health, and foster economic stability. Let us collectively commit to safeguarding food safety for the benefit of all.

#WorldFoodSafetyDay #FoodSafety #SafeFood

World Food Safety Day
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