The World Health Organisation (WHO) and Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations UN) collaborate to celebrate World Food Safety Day every year on June 7 to bring global attention to contaminated food and water's consequences on health. This day is observed to bring awareness to avoid and prevent foodborne risks.
The UN agency, through World Food Safety Day, "endeavours to mainstream food safety in the public agenda and reduce the burden of foodborne diseases globally." This day aims to bring people's attention to food security, sustainable development, and human health.
This Year's Theme
The WHO announced the theme for the World Food Safety Day 2022, "Safer Food, Better Health". Each year, the organisation brings a theme suitable to the challenges and situation.
While explaining the relationship between safe food and good health, the WHO said that this year the aim is towards conservation and initiative to change the food system for better health of people. It also emphasises the importance of sustainability.
According to WHO, the government, businesses, educational institutions, and consumers all are part of this initiative to keep food safe. "The food which is not safe is not a food at all," WHO added.
History & Significance
A report by UNICEF reveals that over 8 lakh children in 2018 lost their lives due to starvation. Further, according to the WHO report, nearly 600 million people worldwide fall ill after eating contaminated food, out of which 4 Lakh people die every year.
Children under the age bracket of 5 years take the 40 per cent burden of foodborne disease, with over 1 lakh death being reported every year. The unsafe foods create a massive chance of foodborne illness and malnutrition, affecting infants, children, and the sick.
Food safety, nutrition, and food security are closely linked. Unsafe food creates a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition, particularly affecting infants, young children, the elderly, and the sick. In addition to contributing to food and nutrition security, a safe food supply also supports national economies, trade, and tourism, stimulating sustainable development.
The globalisation of food trade, a growing world population, climate change, and rapidly changing food systems impact food safety. Considering these statistics, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the idea of marking June 7 as World Food Safety Day in December 2018.
The collaboration of WHO and FAO kickstarted this initiative with the help of other stakeholders. On this day, WHO also conducts several online sessions related to Food Safety which can be viewed on its official website.
Aftermath Of Eating Shawarma In Kerala
In a major embarrassment to food safety and security in Kerala, a 16-year-old girl Devananda died, and more than 50 people were hospitalised in the aftermath of consuming shawarma at a restaurant. The Kerala High Court urged the respective authorities to regularly inspect and monitor food safety standards at every restaurant across the state.
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