On World Food Safety Day, observed annually on June 7, we are protecting our food at all costs. This day was established by the United Nations to raise awareness about the importance of food etiquette and safety at all stages of the food chain. Before our food gets to our stores, restaurants, and even our mouths, they go through a long chain of distribution managed by people who handle processes like harvesting, processing, storing, distribution and preparation. This is why this holiday is important because in the long chain of food consumption there are several possibilities of food contamination.
History of World Food Safety Day
Food poisoning is a more common condition than you would imagine, with an estimated 600 million foodborne illnesses recorded annually. Food safety is, therefore, a very important concept as it seeks to ensure our food is handled with utmost care before getting to us. Safe food is a key factor in determining our overall health because whatever we ingest is digested and spread easily to other parts of our body via our bloodstream. Food poisoning is one of the most common conditions caused by food-borne pathogens, and symptoms may include vomiting, aches, and diarrhea.
The good news is, that food poisoning is 100% preventable through the use of food safety mechanisms. These are the techniques used in ensuring our food remains in the best, healthiest shape until we consume them, and includes labeling, hygiene, additives, and preservatives. This, however, is not the easiest thing to achieve due to the number of people involved in the food distribution chain.
Food regulation organizations and agencies make the flow of food safety measures easier to manage and control by setting laws in place. Bodies like the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (F.A.O.), and the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) were established to govern food safety processes and laws. Although these organizations do their best to ensure our food stays safe, this massive task requires all our attention. The way we handle, process, and distribute food goes a long way toward ensuring safer food and better health worldwide. World Food Safety Day was established by the United Nations to raise awareness of food safety measures and is facilitated by WHO and F.A.O.
World Food Safety Day timeline
The United Nations forms the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (F.A.O.) on October 16.
WHO and F.A.O. come together to form the Codex Alimentarius which sets the guidelines for food safety.
The F.D.A. releases the first Food Code to serve as a standard for food sanitation for health jurisdictions, food services, and retail.
The U.N. establishes World Food Safety Day, facilitated by WHO and F.A.O.
World Food Safety Day FAQs
What’s this year’s World Food Safety Day theme?
The theme for World Food Safety Day 2022 is “Safer food, better health.” This theme was chosen to serve as a worldwide reminder of the major benefit of consuming safe and healthy food — good health.
What are the most common germs that affect our food?
Several disease-causing pathogens could infect our food and cause food illnesses or poisoning. The top five of these pathogens are Salmonella, Norovirus, Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter, and Staphylococcus aureus (Staph).
Can everyone get food poisoning?
Every person can be a victim of food poisoning if care is not taken and safety measures are not put in place. The risk increases with the presence of other underlying immunity issues, old age, young children, or pregnant women.
How to Observe World Food Safety Day
Talk about it
The quickest way to ensure everyone knows the importance of food safety is by actively talking about it. So all through today, use your social media platforms to raise awareness of the importance of taking food safety seriously by using the hashtag #WorldFoodSafetyDay to spread the word. It’s important to use all the tools at our disposal to educate people on the benefits of protecting our food within the food distribution chain.
Attend an event
On this day, and all through the year, the U.N. organizes various events centered on food safety measures. They do this in partnership with their subsidiaries like WHO and F.A.O., and other concerned organizations. Visit their website to see a list of possible events and plan to attend at least one that is closest to you.
Download promotional content
The F.A.O. creates tons of fun promotional content for World Food Safety Day. You can find downloadable items such as posters, cards, and gifs that you can use in recognizing and sharing about the day. Content like this offers a fun way to pass on the message to other individuals.
5 Interesting Facts About Food Safety
The illnesses are numerous
There are over 250 foodborne illnesses in the world.
Freezing stops growth of bacteria
Freezing food helps slow down or possibly stop the growth of bacteria.
Food pathogens are multifaceted
The same pathogens that cause food poisoning can cause kidney failure, arthritis, and meningitis.
Can openers and food poisoning
Unwashed can openers have been discovered to be one of the leading causes of food poisoning due to leftover food residue.
No mixed signals
All foods should be kept either hot or cold and not in between.
Why World Food Safety Day is Important
It’s a cause for us all
The important thing about food safety is not only that it is an important cause, but it is a cause that is relevant to all of us. Food safety is an important topic that we should all be concerned about, and willing to learn more about. World Safety Day helps us bond over a single goal.
It helps protect our food
A day like this spreads global awareness. This is important because the more awareness one raises concerning food safety, the more actions will be taken, and processes will be set in place to protect our food.
It keeps us healthy
Healthy food is equal to a healthy life! This holiday causes us to pay special attention to the safety measures used in our food distribution processes, which ultimately leads to healthier food and a healthier life.
World Food Safety Day dates