Food safety saves lives. It is not only a crucial component of food security, but it also plays a vital role in reducing foodborne diseases. Every year, 600 million people fall sick due to around 200 different types of foodborne illnesses. The burden of such illness falls most heavily on the poor and the young. In addition, foodborne illness is responsible for 420 000 preventable deaths every year.
World Food Safety Day (WFSD), celebrated on 7 June 2021, aims 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.
This year's theme, 'Safe food today for a healthy tomorrow', stresses that the production and consumption of safe food have immediate and long-term benefits for people, the planet, and the economy. Recognizing the systemic connections between people's health, animals, plants, the environment, and the economy will help us meet the needs of the future.
Recognizing the global burden of foodborne diseases, which affect individuals of all ages, particularly children under-5 and persons living in low-income countries, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed in 2018 that every 7 June would be World Food Safety Day. In 2020, the World Health Assembly further adopted a decision on strengthening efforts on food safety to reduce the burden of foodborne disease. WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) jointly facilitate the observance of World Food Safety Day in collaboration with the Member States and other relevant organizations.
According to WHO, food safety is a shared responsibility between governments, producers, and consumers. Everyone has a role to play from farm to table to ensure the food we consume is safe and healthy. Through World Food Safety Day, WHO works to mainstream food safety in the public agenda and reduce the burden of foodborne diseases globally. Food safety is everyone's business.