World Food Safety Day – WFSD
In a world where many people still die due to starvation, “Food Safety” is a global concern that involves different areas of everyday life. It explains how the food is handled, prepared, and stored in such a manner that it reduces the risk of becoming sick from foodborne diseases. Food transmits pathogens which can cause illness or death of the person. Unsafe food is dangerous to human health and economies. It may also lead to further food waste. Unsafe food contains harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, and various chemical substances which may cause many food-related diseases. An estimate of 600 million cases occurs every year worldwide due to the consumption of unsafe food.
Why Food Safety Day Celebrated?
Recognition of the problem and promoting food safety has resulted in the celebration of World Food Safety day. This day is celebrated by various organizations concerning food security. The 39th session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission held in 2016, agreed to promote the proposal of World Food Safety Day permanently within the framework of the United Nations. The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 73/250 which signifies World Food Safety Day. The United Nations declares the day to globally draw attention to health consequences by consuming contaminated food and water.
When the ‘World Food Safety Day’ celebrated first?
The World Food Safety Day was first celebrated on 6th June 2019 and was launched by Honourable Union Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan and Minister of State, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare at Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) HQ. The theme for the day was ‘Food Safety, everyone’s business’, where many stakeholders from the food industry collectively took a pledge to promote food safety for the country. The action-oriented campaign was started which promotes global food safety awareness and call upon countries’ decision-makers, the private sector, UN organizations, and others to take action accordingly.
Role and Responsibilities
Food safety is an equal responsibility between governments, producers, and consumers. Everybody has a role to play to ensure that the food we consume is safe and will not cause damages to our health. Food safety plays an important role in assuring that food stays safe at every stage of the food chain. From production to process, storage, distribution, preparation, and consumption, food should be safe at every stage.
For this special occasion, all India Relay Cyclothon held between 16th October 2018 to 29th January 2019, to introduce the program to the country. The statue of Mahatma Gandhi on a bicycle was created as he is the inspiration behind “Swasth Bharat Yatra” to represent the program. To celebrate the spirit and tireless efforts with regards to ensuring food safety and spreading the message of eating right, a ceremony was organized. This was organized to congratulate some of the states which were shortlisted by the State Food Safety Index.
World Food Safety Day – 2020
After the complete success of the first celebration in 2019, WFSD will again celebrate to strengthen the responsibility of food safety. The second World Food Safety Day will be celebrated on 7th June 2020. World Health Organization (WHO) along with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will facilitate the states which will take part in it.
The European Food Safety Authority will also be taking part in the celebration of 2020. The Executive Director, Mr. Bernhard Url, of EFSA, said that for WFSD 2020 they want to focus on three most important elements of the EU food safety system which are the implementation of One Health approach, Sustainability of food systems and the shared responsibility of food safety. This celebration will draw the attention of producers, consumers, and others towards the foodborne risks. Also, it will help in contributing to food security, human health, and economic prosperity. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebration will be different from last year.
WFSD 2020- Events and Highlights
On the occasion, FAO and WHO will hold a celebration which includes video messages from FAO Director-General QU Dongyu and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. There will be an interactive Facebook live session in which experts of FAO and WHO will discuss the theme. The interaction will include what precautions can be taken by governments, producers, manufacturers, and consumers can be taken to ensure food safety. On this day, some families save food or avoid the wastage of food and distribute it to needy and poor. In some companies and organizations salary is deducted from the employees who voluntarily want to donate for the food bank and utilized it at the time of natural calamities, disasters, etc. The day is dedicated to all those who ensured that safe food remains available to everyone and also contributes to the consumption of safe and healthy diets.