Date: Wednesday, 7 June 2023; 5th Anniversary.
- The Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO)
- The World Health Organization (WHO)
The World Food Safety Day is annually observed for the following purposes:
- to raise awareness at all levels about the importance of food safety,
- to promote and facilitate actions to prevent foodborne diseases, and
- to strengthen global efforts for food security and safety, contributing to economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism, and sustainable development.
The World Food Safety Day was officially held for the first time on June 7, 2019.
In 2016, at its 39th session the Codex Alimentarius Commission, an international food standards body, unanimously agreed to promote a proposal to proclaim a World Food Safety Day. The proposal was endorsed by the FAO conference in July 2017 and the WHO in December 2017, respectively.
On 20 December 2018, the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/73/250), proclaiming that June 7 would be regarded as World Food Safety Day every year. The resolution recognized the burden that the world has with respect to foodborne diseases, which affect people of all ages, particularly children below 5 years of age and people residing in countries of low income.
On 3 August 2020, the World Health Assembly passed a resolution (WHA73.5) to recognize World Food Safety Day as an important milestone and a platform for raising awareness at all levels about the importance of food safety, promoting and facilitating actions to prevent foodborne diseases; and strengthening global efforts for food safety.
Why do we mark food safety?
Safe food is key to sustaining life and promoting good health. Foodborne illnesses caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemical substances are usually infectious or toxic in nature. Every year, there are approximately 600 million cases of foodborne illnesses. About 420,000 people around the world die every year after eating contaminated or unsafe food. Of them children under 5 years of age carry 40% of the foodborne disease burden, with 125,000 deaths per year. Therefore, unsafe food is a threat to human health and economic prosperity, disproportionally affecting vulnerable and marginalized people, especially women and children, populations affected by conflict, and migrants.
It is essential and critical to assure that food stays safe at every stage of the food chain – from production to harvest, processing, storage, distribution, all the way to preparation and consumption. Governments, producers, traders, and consumers have shared responsibility in ensuring the food consumed is safe and nutritious. The World Food Safety Day is an opportunity to strengthen efforts to ensure the food we eat is safe and to reduce the burden of foodborne diseases globally.
Annual theme in recent years:
2023 theme: “Food Standards Save Lives.”
2022 theme: ““Safer Food, Better Health”
2021 theme: “Safe Food Today for a Healthy Tomorrow”
2020 theme: “Food Safety, Everyone’s Business”
2019 theme: “Food Safety, Everyone’s Business”