Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2018 in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization, the first-ever World Food Safety Day is being celebrated today. The theme for the day this year is ‘Food safety, everyone’s business’.
The day aims to create awareness about the importance of maintaining safe food standards and also reduce the burden of deaths due to foodborne diseases.
Many people, especially women and children, suffer due to unsafe or bad quality food. It is, therefore, important to educate the masses about the importance of not only consuming good quality food, but also identifying the same and maintaining safe food standards.
According to the World Health Organisation, access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food is key to sustaining life and promoting good health. “Foodborne diseases impede socioeconomic development by straining health care systems and harming national economies, tourism and trade,” the website says.
It adds that with an estimated 600 million cases of foodborne diseases annually – almost 1 in 10 people in the world fall ill after eating contaminated food – this is an increasing threat to human health. “Children under 5 years of age carry 40% of the foodborne disease burden with 125 000 deaths every year,” it says.