10 reasons to get excited about World Food Safety Day

World Food Safety Day

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the decline in immunization on a global scale and the renewed focus on food traceability, World Food Safety Day has become arguably one of the most important days in the food service providers’ calendar. This year’s campaign is based around the mantra that we should always prepare for the unexpected –  and here at Phenium we’re proud to support the World Health Organization (WHO) in its mission. Since foodborne diseases affect 1 in 10 people worldwide each year, shining a light on being prepared for food safety incidents, no matter how mild or severe, is of utmost importance. In advance of celebrating the day, we’ve gathered 10 facts about World Food Safety Day that may surprise you. Read on to find out more.

1.World Food Safety Day was created for us all to learn more about food safety

The WHO set up the day to draw attention and mobilize action to prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks. Food safety is everyone’s business, and this is why we support World Food Safety Day this year, and every year!

2. Each World Food Safety Day has a new theme 

This year’s theme is all about the importance of being prepared for food safety incidents, As we know a food incident can happen, due to accidents, inadequate controls, or natural events, so it’s important that as food service providers, we play an active role. The theme of last year’s World Food Safety Day was about maintaining high food safety standards. However, the first ever World Food Safety Day was centered around the moto food safety: everyone’s business. This was a campaign focussed on ensuring everyone was playing their part in maintaining good food safety standards.

3. The term ‘health food’ was first used in 1882 and it’s now part of our culture.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the expression “health food” was first used in 1882. However, the idea of healthy foods and wellbeing dates back to the ancient Greeks, who connected the idea of healthy bodies with a healthy diet.

4. There are a range of healthy initiatives that the WHO has committed to by 2025

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances can cause more than 200 different diseases, ranging from diarrhea to cancers. Around the world, an estimated 600 million – almost 1 in 10 people – fall ill after eating contaminated food each year, resulting in 420 000 deaths. The WHO has worked hard to instill a range of initiatives to improve food safety over the years. The most being that WHO Member States have agreed to reduce the global population’s intake of salt by 30% by 2025. They have also agreed to halt the rise in diabetes and obesity in adults and adolescents as well as in childhood overweight by 2025.

5. Famous people were championing healthy diets back in the 1800s, including romantic poet Percey Bysshe Shelley

English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley’s vegetarian idealism. The poet can be looked upon as a role model for today’s vegans. In A Vindication of Natural Diet (1813), Shelley champions the cause of a natural vegan diet for a sound mind and healthy body.

“The structure of the human frame then is that of one fitted to a pure vegetable diet, in every essential particular,” Shelley argues in the essay. He was highlighting the vegetarian cause way back in the 19th century, which now finds new resonance in the current context  – especially with climate change and the emissions associated with the meat industry.

6. Almost one in ten people don’t have access to clean water, but things are changing

703 million people in the world – almost one in ten – don’t have access to clean water close to home. WHO/UNICEF (2023). Lack of access to safe water sources is a leading risk factor for infectious diseases. It also exacerbates malnutrition and is a very important risk factor for death globally. However, there has been positive progress. Between 2015 and 2022, the proportion of the world’s population with access to safely managed drinking water increased from 69 per cent to 73 per cent according to WHO data.

7. The first World Food Safety Day was celebrated in 2019

The first-ever World Food Safety Day 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) set up the event to get us all thinking about food safety and to reduce the burden of foodborne diseases globally.

8. Technology is making a real difference to food safety

Technology is elevating food safety practices and protocols.Through clever automated or AI systems such as Phenium, we can help eliminate food safety incidents and outbreaks in the future. In the past procedures have been tracked using antiquated pen and paper systems, but with the implementation of tech solutions, this can all be eliminated. An automated food safety system can check all your food storage, handling and cleaning procedures.

9. Food safety is everyone’s responsibility

By law, food businesses whether suppliers, distributors or restaurants need to ensure they maintain good food hygiene. From regular cleaning checks to food temperature logs, many of these requirements need to be documented and monitored. Whilst a great deal of emphasis is placed on those distributing, preparing and serving food, even outside of the food service industry it is important for consumers to understand food safety. From the way foods are stored at home to the way they are prepared in a domestic kitchen, if you are serving food you should have an understanding of food safety.

10. We are seeing a real change in attitude towards food safety

Since the coronavirus outbreak there is more desire from consumers to be aware where their food originates from, From tech-enabled traceability, smarter tools, new business models and retail modernization and finally, food safety culture. Research from the Food Value Equation Survey by Deloitte Consulting LLP suggests that consumers want toxin-free food as well as more transparency from food producers and retailers about those and other food safety issues.

Recent posts