June 7th

World Food Safety Day -

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On June 7th each year, we commemorate World Food Safety Day, a global awareness initiative spearheaded by the World Health Organization (WHO) together with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The day serves as a reminder of the critical role that safe food preparation, storage, and consumption play in public health, economic growth, and sustainability.

The aim of this day is to motivate measures that can effectively identify, manage and prevent foodborne hazards, thereby enhancing human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism, and overall sustainable development.

History of World Food Safety Day

The United Nations General Assembly officially introduced World Food Safety Day in December 2018, and it’s now celebrated globally every year on June 7th. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness and encourage action to prevent, manage and detect foodborne hazards, which in turn contributes to various areas of life including food security, health, sustainable development, tourism, agricultural prosperity, and market accessibility.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), in collaboration with member states and other relevant groups, jointly facilitate the observance of this day. The aim is rooted in the recognition that having access to safe and nutritious food in adequate amounts is a basic human right and correlates with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Various aspects of food safety are highlighted each year with a new theme. Presently, contaminated food is responsible for an estimated 420,000 deaths and over 600 million illnesses annually, caused by harmful viruses, bacteria, toxins, parasites, and chemicals.

The initiative to establish World Food Safety Day was first proposed by Costa Rica in 2016. By 2018, it had garnered the backing from 25 nations. The inaugural celebration took place in 2019 under the theme “Food Safety, Everyone’s Business”, and ever since, World Food Safety Day has been utilized as a platform to commend best practices for food safety around the globe.

World Food Safety Day Timeline

Agriculture Development

Humans began to domestically grow crops and raise livestock, adopting farming techniques.

Canning Process

Nicolas Appert developed the canning process. It greatly improved food safety and preservation techniques.

Creation of USDA

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was established. The USDA eventually took on the role of implementing food safety regulations and inspections.

Passage of Pure Food and Drug Act

U.S. Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act leading to the creation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Food Additives Amendment

The U.S. Food Additives Amendment was enacted. This legislation required manufacturers to prove the safety of new additives before they could be marketed.

Food Safety Modernization Act

The FDA implemented the Food Safety Modernization Act to shift the focus of federal regulators from responding to contamination to preventing it.

Establishment of World Food Safety Day

UN General Assembly established 7th June as World Food Safety Day to raise awareness about the crucial importance of safe food.

Ideas to Celebrate World Food Safety Day

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Online Food Safety Quiz

Create an online quiz related to food safety, including topics such as hand hygiene, proper food storage, and cooking temperatures. This will make learning about food safety more interactive and fun.

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Cooking Masterclass

Invite a local chef or food safety expert to conduct a virtual cooking class, emphasizing on clean cooking habits, safe food handling and preparation methods.

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Food Safety Workshops

Setup workshops in schools, offices, or community centers teaching basics of food safety and the importance of hygiene when handling and preparing food. This can include things like proper hand washing techniques, correct food storage, and avoiding cross-contamination.

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In-school awareness program

Collaborate with local schools for a day's program that would include sessions on food safety, the importance of a balanced diet, and the dangers of foodborne diseases.

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Share-a-Recipe Challenge

Launch a social media challenge where participants share a recipe but must include indications about the safety measures they took while preparing the meal.

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Community Potluck

Organize a community potluck where everyone brings a dish to share. Before eating, have each person explain what food safety steps they took when preparing their dish. This is a fun, delicious, and educational method to celebrate the day.

8 Interesting Facts About Food Safety

1.

Temperature Danger Zone

Food Safety guidelines often mention the 'Temperature Danger Zone' which is between 40°F and 140°F. In this range, bacteria can double in number in as little as 20 minutes.

2.

Cross contamination

Cross-contamination is a prime cause of foodborne disease. It occurs when harmful bacteria or allergens spread from one food to another, often because of unclean cutting boards or hands.

3.

Foodborne illnesses

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year, approximately 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases.

4.

Bacteria never dies in the freezer

Freezing food does not kill bacteria, it just makes them dormant. This means that a food that is frozen first needs to be defrosted properly and cooked thoroughly to kill any bacteria.

5.

Listeria can thrive in cold environments

Unlike many bacteria, Listeria can grow in the cooler temperatures of a refrigerator. Keeping your fridge 40°F or colder will slow its growth but won't stop it completely.

6.

Food safety at home

It's not just restaurants that need to take care of food safety. Most foodborne illnesses are caused by foods improperly stored and prepared at home.

7.

Washed fruits and vegetables

Even if you plan to peel fruits or vegetables, it's important to wash them first. Any bacteria present on the outside can be transferred to the inside when you cut or peel them.

8.

Cooling leftovers

Leftovers should be cooled quickly, not left to cool completely on the counter before being refrigerated. Bacteria can multiply rapidly if left at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

World Food Safety Day FAQs

Next World Food Safety Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 June 7th Wednesday
2024 June 7th Friday
2025 June 7th Saturday
2026 June 7th Sunday
2027 June 7th Monday
What is the pattern? Every June 7th

World Food Safety Day Word Search

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