The second World Food Safety Day (WFSD) will be celebrated on 7 June 2020 to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development.
Following the success of the first celebration in 2019, this year again WFSD reinforces the call to strengthen commitment to scale up food safety made by the Addis Ababa Conference and the Geneva Forum in 2019 under the umbrella of “The Future of Food Safety”.
The German philosopher Ludwig Andreas Feurerbach, in 1863, in his essay Spiritualism and Materialism, said, "A man is what he eats." Those were different times but absolutely relevant for today’s thinking about food and food safety. Food safety is critical for both, food and nutrition security. Poor nutrition and foodborne diseases often combine to a vicious cycle of worsening health. Food safety hazards arise at all stages of the food chain. In India, food-borne diseases (FBD) lead to 120,000 deaths each year and FBD imposes a burden of over 8 million Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs). Children under 5 years are at 40% more risk with around 30,000 deaths each year. The number of FBD cases is expected to rise from 100 million to 150 – 177 million in 2030 compared to 2011. This means that by 2030, one out of 9 people on average fall sick, up from one out of 12 in 20115. Applying the human capital approach, the economic costs are in range of USD 12 billion to 55 billion USD when valuing loss of life or forgone output. Applying the cost of illness approach, imputed costs of all foodborne diseases range about 2 billion USD5.
This World Food Safety Day, under the theme “Food safety, everyone’s business”, the World Health Organization, India (WHO, India) , in collaboration with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is doing an action oriented campaign to promote food safety awareness in the country among all stakeholders across the food supply chain and calls upon decision makers, the private sector, civil society, UN organizations and the general public to take action. Food safety is a shared responsibility between governments, producers and consumers. Everybody has a role to play from farm to table to ensure the food we consume is safe and will not cause damages to our health. Through the World Food Safety Day, WHO pursues its efforts to mainstream food safety in the public agenda and reduce the burden of foodborne diseases in the country.
This year, on World Food Safety Day, we all have a chance to recognize the people on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic who help keep our food safe. But we all have a role to play - whether you grow, process, transport, store, distribute, sell, prepare, serve or consume food, we all have a responsibility for its safety, and in times of crisis, it is more important than ever.
World Food safety Day 2020: Calls to action
1 - Grow it safe - Agriculture and food producers need to adopt good practices
2 - Keep it safe - Business operators must make sure food is safe
3 - Ensure it’s safe - Government must ensure safe and nutritious food for all
4 - Eat it safe: All consumers have a right to safe, healthy and nutritious food
5 - Team up for safety – Food Safety is a shared responsibility