Food safety is a fundamental element of good health and is essential for sustainable development. The Sustainable Development Goals call for actions to end hunger, improve nutrition, promote sustainable agriculture and achieve food security, all of which require that all people have access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food.
Yet, in the Western Pacific Region more than 125 million people fall ill and more than 50 000 die annually from unsafe food.
World Food Safety Day is an annual celebration on 7 June established by the United Nations to raise awareness about food safety. Year after year a growing number of World Food Safety Day initiatives globally help draw attention to the multiple ways of preventing, detecting, and managing foodborne risks for safer food and better health.
This year’s theme, “Safer food, better health”, highlights the role that safe, nutritional food plays in ensuring human health and well-being and calls for a set of specific actions to make food safer.
Food safety is a highly complex health issue involving multiple domestic and international stakeholders. Over recent years, new developments including the introduction of new technologies, increasing internationalization of the food chain and demographic changes have affected food safety in the Region. The changing context of food safety affects food safety risk management as well as trust in the safety of the food supply. Food safety trust is a multifaceted issue and an outcome of effective food safety systems. At the same time, it serves as an enabler for strengthening food safety systems to manage food safety risks and respond to food safety incidents and emergencies.
On World Food Safety Day, we all have a role to play; whether we grow, process, transport, store, sell, buy, prepare or serve food, food safety is in all our hands. And if we work together, we can all help achieve safer food for better health.
Calls to action
- Foster multisectoral collaboration to address food safety
- Public support programmes focusing on healthy and safe food
- Design strong policies and practice good governance
- Follow up on food safety commitments
- Promote food safety culture
- Comply with international and national food standards
Educational institutions and workplaces
- Support food safety education
- Promote safe food handling.
- Engage with families
- Keep informed and promote food safety
- Practise safe food handling at home