World Food Safety Day 2024: Relevance, theme, history and more

“Food safety is everyone’s business.”

-World Health Organisation (WHO)

World Food Safety Day is annually celebrated on June 7 with themes addressing pressing concerns regarding food safety. 

Despite the copious laws regarding food safety standards, findings show that an average of 1,600,000 people get sick due to unsafe food infected with bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemical substances every day. The statistics are alarming and prove the necessity of bringing attention to the relevance of Food Safety Day and its principles. 

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From farm to table, meeting the requirement of a nutritious and healthy meal is becoming more challenging day by day. As the world gets ready for another Food Safety Day, let us probe the nuances related to this day for a better understanding of its practicality.

Each year, the day puts forth specific themes, highlighting the relevant challenges pertaining to food safety. The theme of 2024 is “Food Safety: Prepare for the Unexpected,” which, according to the WHO, emphasises the “significance of being ready for food safety incidents, regardless of their severity.”

World Food Safety Day was initiated by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2018 and was first commemorated on June 7, 2019. It was dedicated as a day to confront and tackle the issues regarding food safety and raise awareness among the public about the need to eradicate foodborne risks. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) work collectively with other countries and groups to observe this day. 

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The most affected communities owing to food safety problems include children and the marginalised sections of society, as they are more vulnerable to the threatening effects of contaminated food. With another year passing by and the world celebrating one more food safety day on June 7, it is apparently dismaying that an estimate of over 600 million people fall ill each year from consuming unsafe food. 

The ignorance people are subjected to regarding this is startling, and the celebration of Food Safety Day will function as a medium to tackle this ignorance concerning food safety. The day acts as a reminder to everyone about their role in ensuring the quality of the food that they consume, in turn ensuring a safer global food supply, which is crucial for safeguarding public health.