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Imagine a day dedicated to ensuring the food on our tables is safe. That’s World Food Safety Day’s purpose, celebrated every June 7th.

It’s a day when people worldwide focus on the importance of keeping food free from contaminants and diseases. The United Nations and various health organizations mark this day to highlight how crucial safe food is to our health and well-being.

Why do we celebrate this day? Because unsafe food can cause over 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhea to cancers. Approximately 1 in 10 people fall ill yearly from eating contaminated food.

For children under five, the stakes are even higher, with hundreds dying every day due to foodborne diseases. The theme for 2023, “Food Standards Save Lives,” underscores the role of food standards in preventing these illnesses.

These standards help ensure that what we eat is not only nutritious but also safe, protecting us from various health hazards.

World Food Safety Day isn’t just a call to action for governments and businesses. It’s a day for everyone to play a part in making food safer.

Ensure food safety is a shared responsibility from farmers to families and processors to plates. By raising awareness, sharing knowledge, and following food safety practices, we can all contribute to healthier lives and a healthier planet​​​​​​.

History of World Food Safety Day

The journey to establish World Food Safety Day began long before its official recognition. The foundation was laid back in 1945 with the creation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) by the United Nations.

Then, in 1962, the FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO) collaborated to form the Codex Alimentarius, which set the global guidelines for food safety. This was a significant step towards ensuring that food standards were implemented globally.

The aim was to highlight the importance of food safety in ensuring human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism, and sustainable development.

Since its establishment, the day has served as a platform for raising awareness about food safety at local, national, regional, and global levels, emphasizing it as a shared responsibility between governments, producers, and consumers.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has played a crucial role, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean, by working with regional countries to strengthen food control systems.

This involves improving standards and regulations, enhancing education and communication, and boosting surveillance, inspection, and laboratory capabilities.

World Food Safety Day, celebrated every June 7, is more than just a date on the calendar; it represents a global commitment to ensuring that the food we consume is safe and nutritious. It’s a day that underscores the importance of collective efforts in maintaining the safety of our food supply chain, from farm to table​​​​​​.

How to Celebrate World Food Safety Day

Celebrating World Food Safety Day on June 7th offers a fantastic opportunity to emphasize the importance of food safety and encourage actions to prevent foodborne diseases. Here are some engaging ways to mark this day:

Spread Awareness: Use social media platforms to share facts and tips about food safety. Highlight the significance of food standards and their role in preventing foodborne illnesses​​​​.

Educational Activities: Organize or participate in webinars and workshops. These events can focus on current food safety challenges, solutions, and following food safety guidelines​​.

Community Engagement: Host or join events like food safety awareness runs or public discussions. These can be great ways to engage with the community and spread key messages about food safety​​.

Promote Food Safety Practices: Share practical advice on how to prevent foodborne illnesses. This could include tips on proper food handling, storage, and preparation methods​​.

Food Safety Audits: Conduct or participate in food safety audits within your community or organization. This can help identify potential food safety risks and ways to mitigate them​​.

Advocate for Stronger Food Safety Standards: Encourage local businesses and restaurants to adopt and adhere to higher food safety standards. This can be done through partnerships or awareness campaigns​​.

Personal Commitment: Make a personal commitment to practice and promote food safety in your daily life. This could mean being more mindful about how you handle and prepare food at home​​.

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