June 7 marks the World Food Safety Day. According To World Health Organisation, the annual celebration is aimed to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks. In other words, it is aimed at improving human health through conscious eating. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) established the World Food Safety Day in 2018 to raise awareness of this important issue. The observance across the world is jointly facilitated by the WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with member states and other stakeholders. This year’s theme is “Safer food, better health” which aims to highlight the role of safe, nutritional food in ensuring human health and well-being.
As per WHO, an estimated 600 million fall sick and 420,000 others die every year after eating contaminated food.
There are over 200 foodborne diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances entering the body through contaminated food, it said. In worst case scenarios, these diseases can also lead to the development of cancer cells in the body.
The Who highlights that children under five years of age carry 40 per cent of the foodborne disease burden, with 125,000 deaths every year. Also Foodborne diseases impede socio-economic development by straining health care systems and harming national economies, tourism and trade.
Union Health Secretary has rightly underscored the need for a multifaceted and multi-stakeholder approach — involving industries, government machinery and regulators —to ensure food safety and create awareness at each level of the society. There is need for everyone to focus on food safety. It is rather everyone’s business. Everyone in the food system needs to work not only to keep food safe as also food systems operating.
Ensuring food is safely produced, processed, distributed and consumed throughout the entire supply chain concerns all. The government agencies need to work hard to ensure that common people get safe food.
The studies show a sharp rise in dangerous diseases like cancer, largely attributed to food. The experts have been stressing the implications of junk and packaged food. What has also come under focus is that spices, pulses, red and white meat, available in the markets need a strict vigil. Today we are again confronted by this threatening scenario that adulteration poses. There are a number of laws which require strict enforcement.