From this year, 7 June will be the “World Food Safety Day”. The aim is to raise awareness of the importance of food safety in order to protect consumer health.
The 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York has adopted a resolution declaring 7 June World Food Safety Day every year.
This decision is the result of the initiative launched by Awilo Ochieng Pernet in 2015 when she was Chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), followed by intensive negotiations within the CAC, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the World Health Organization (WHO). Costa Rica was the country leading the negotiations on this decision.
The consequences of unsafe food
This day will provide an opportunity to raise awareness throughout the world of the impact of unsafe food on public health. As a matter of fact, according to the WHO’s global estimates, every year one in ten people get sick from eating food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemicals.
420,000 people, 125,000 of which are children under the age of five, die as a result of these illnesses. The WHO estimates that contaminated food is responsible for more than 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhoea to cancer.
Unsafe food has an adverse impact on social and economic development. It puts a strain on public health systems, national economies, trade and tourism.
On this particular day, the United Nations General Assembly’s resolution invites all parties involved, including authorities, industry, consumers, relevant international organisations, NGOs and academia to take part in activities to promote food safety at all levels.
Food safety is key to the implementation of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which UN member states have been called upon to achieve by 2030.
The Codex Alimentarius
The Codex Alimentarius is a set of standards, guidelines and codes of practice adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC). Since 1963, its mission has been to develop a standardised food code to protect the health of all consumers across the world and ensure fair practices in the international food trade. Switzerland is a founding member of the Codex.
Last modification 20.06.2019