As another World Food Safety Day dawns upon us, time has come to reevaluate food safety in attaining sustainable development goals (SDGs). Every year, the World Food Safety Day is observed on June 7 as a way to draw attention towards prevention, detection and management of foodborne risks. The theme this year is safer food, better health.
What is food safety?
Every person should have access to safe and nutritious food. It is the key to sustaining life and developing economies. Unsafe food can lead to health issues ranging from cholera to cancer. According to UN estimates, across the world, almost 1 in 10 people fall ill after eating contaminated food.
Why does it matter?
The production of safe food reduces food loss and waste and benefits the planet. As much as $110 billion is lost each year in productivity and medical expenses resulting from unsafe food in low- and middle-income countries. Some of the factors affecting food safety include growing world population, climate change and rapidly changing food systems.
Over 200 diseases are caused by eating food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances such as heavy metals. The annual cost of treating foodborne illnesses is estimated at $15 billion.
For health and well-being
This year’s campaign focuses on ways in which safer food can improve health and well-being of every species on the planet.The focus will also be on ways in which food systems need to be improved whereby nutritious food is available to all. Food has to stay safe at multiple levels– from production to harvest, from processing to storage, from distribution to preparation and finally consumption.