World Food Safety Day by the WHO and FAO
Polity & IR-Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate
The first-ever World Food Safety Day, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2018, was celebrated on 7 June 2019 under the theme “Food Safety, everyone’s business”. WHO, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) organised it.
Why food Safety is significant?
Following are the factors for which the food safety is important ;
- Access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food is key to sustaining life and promoting good health.
- Foodborne diseases impede socioeconomic development by straining health care systems and harming national economies, tourism and trade.
- With an estimated 600 million cases of foodborne diseases annually – almost 1 in 10 people in the world fall ill after eating contaminated – food safety is an increasing threat to human health.
- Children under 5 years of age carry 40% of the foodborne disease burden with 125 000 deaths every year.
- 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.
India’s effort in food safety
- FSSAI has instituted the ‘Eat Right Awards’ to recognize the contribution of food companies and individuals to empower citizens to choose safe and healthy food options, which would help improve their health and well-being.
- A commemorative volume to capture the journey and impact of this yatra was released by the Union Minister of Health as a tribute to all the stakeholders who contributed to make this movement a huge success.
- A Web-resource online Library of FSSAI was also launched. This library hosts informative and interesting videos on topics such as food adulteration, eating a balanced diet, fortified foods etc.
- During the food safety day celebration the Health Minister launched a new-age, hand-held battery operated device called ‘Raman 1.0’. This device performs rapid detection (in less than 1 minute) of economically driven adulteration in edible oils, fats and ghee. The equipment tests more than 250 samples per battery charge, collects and stores data on the cloud using a smart device.
- An innovative solution to take food safety to schools, called the ‘Food Safety Magic Box’ was also launched by Minister. This do-it-yourself food testing kit comprises a manual and equipment to check for food adulterants, which schoolchildren can use in their classroom laboratories. This kit is also useful for frontline health workers.