The first-ever World Food Safety Day is observed on 7 June 2019 under the theme “Food Safety, everyone’s business”. World Food Safety Day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2018. WHO, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is pleased to facilitate Member States effort to celebrate the World Food Safety Day this year and in coming years.
Food safety is key to achieving several UN Sustainable Development Goals and 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 globally.
Unsafe food is a threat to human health and economies, disproportionally affecting vulnerable and marginalized people, especially women and children, populations affected by conflict and migrants. It also damages global trade leading to further food waste, which can no longer be tolerated in a world where many still suffer from hunger. The new annual observance, established thanks to concerted efforts led by Costa Rica, will draw attention and direct efforts to stopping the roughly 600 million cases of foodborne illnesses that occur annually.
Why is this initiative important?
With an estimated 600 million cases of the food-borne disease annually, it is integral to tackle the issue of food safety. It is linked to many other factors that are important to development, including many of the Sustainable Development Goals. The initiative links to the Sustainable Development Goals put forth by the UN, particularly the following:
- Goal 2— to end hunger, all forms of malnutrition, and double agricultural productivity
- Goal 3 — to prevent diseases and improve health and wellbeing for all
- Goal 12 — to move towards sustainable practices of consumption and production
- Goal 17 — strengthen global partnerships (including trade laws) to grow sustainably