According to the United Nations (UN), there are approximately 600 million cases of food borne illness every year. Food borne illness is carried or transmitted to people by food that are contaminated by microorganisms such as viruses, pathogenic bacteria and other parasites. These foods are generally moist, rich in protein and have a neutral or slightly acidic pH just like the foods we eat every day, for examples: meats, eggs and dairy products. Some people are particularly susceptible to foodborne illness, including infants and children, older adults, pregnant women, people with liver disease, diabetes, HIV & AIDS, cancer, post-surgical patients, & people taking immunosuppressant agents such as transplants patients (Wardlaw and Smith, 2012).
In order to prevent food borne illness and to promote the clean and safe food, since this year (2019), every June 7 is celebrated as World Food Safety Day. The process was initiated in 2016 through Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) that was managed by Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) & World Health Organization (WHO). It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2018. The theme for this year is “Food Safety, everyone’s business”. Therefore, FAO and WHO have created a new guide to show everyone can get involved. The guidelines include 5 steps to make a sustained difference to food safety:
1. Ensure it’s safe – Governments must ensure safe and nutritious food for all
2. Grow it safe – Agriculture and food producers need to adopt good practices
3. Keep it safe – Business operators must make sure food is safely transported, stored and prepared
4. Check it’s safe – All consumers have a right to safe, healthy and nutritious food, they need access to timely, clear and reliable about the nutritional and disease risks associated with their food choices.
5. Team up for safety – Food safety is a shared responsibility, government, regional economic bodies, UN organizations, consumer and producer groups, academic and research institutions and private sectors entities must work together on food safety issues.
Wardlaw, G.M., Smith, A. M., Lindeman, A. K. 2012. Contemporary Nutrition: A Functional Approach 2nd edition. McGraw-Hill, New York.