UN, WHO, FAO Commemorate World Food Safety Day to Raise Awareness about Severity of Foodborne Diseases

The United Nations (UN), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) celebrate, on June 7, World Food Safety Day (WFSD) to raise awareness about the severity of foodborne diseases.

Celebrated this year under the theme Food Standards Save Lives,” World Food Safety Day (WFSD) aims to highlight the imperative of food standards in ensuring the safety of the food we consume, as these standards serve as measures for everyone, from producers to consumers, to contribute to food safety.

This World Day is an important wake-up call for the world, as nowadays we are more liable to foodborne illnesses because of the significant amount of pesticides, chemicals, and additives that modern farming uses in cultivation.

Food safety is closely linked to food security, as unsafe food can undermine food security by causing diseases, reducing productivity, and negatively impacting economic growth.

World Food Safety Day (WFSD) aims to contribute to achieving food security for all which is one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by promoting and advocating food safety. On this occasion, WHO Assistant Director-General, Dr. Maria Neira, addressed a message to the world, stressing the importance of food safety and calling for joint action to ensure safer food handling and consumption.

“Food safety has a direct impact on our health,” stated Dr. Neira, adding that over 200 illnesses, ranging from mild to deadly, are caused by eating contaminated food. 

WHO Assistant Director-General underlined that “safe food allows the uptake of nutrients and promotes human development,” noting that foodborne diseases can be prevented.

To ensure safe food production and consumption, each country contributes to the promotion of food safety through several institutions and mechanisms. In Morocco, the National Office of Food Safety (ONSSA), established in 2009, is a public institution with legal personality and financial autonomy that aims to protect consumer health and preserve the health of animals and plants.

Morocco invests significant efforts in the field of food safety and security, as demonstrated by article 4 of law 28-07 on food safety, which stresses that no primary product or foodstuff may be placed on the national market, imported or exported if it is dangerous to human life or health. Similarly, no animal feed shall be imported, placed on the national market or exported, or fed to animals if proven dangerous. 

By commemorating World Food Security Day and highlighting the importance of food safety, we can all work together, as producers and consumers, to prevent foodborne illnesses and promote sustainable food systems that prioritize safety, nutrition, and well-being.

As producers and consumers of food, we can all contribute to better and safer food by promoting safe food handling, supporting food safety education, and raising awareness among consumers and actors in the food industry of the importance of promoting safe food to minimize the chances of contracting foodborne illnesses.

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