Speech On World Food Safety Day

A very Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening to Honorable Principal Sir/Madam, respected teachers, seniors, and my dear friends/students, Warm Greetings to Everyone!

Thank you all for taking out time and being present at this seminar session. Today, we are here to celebrate the most important day, ‘World Food Safety Day’.

Today is 7th June; this special assembly has been organized especially for the students as the whole world is celebrating “World Food Safety Day”. The United Nations (UN) has declared this day to draw global attention to the health consequences of contaminated food and water. Under the theme “Food safety, everyone’s business”, the action-oriented campaign will promote global food safety awareness and call upon countries and decision-makers, the private sector, civil society, United Nations (UN) organizations, and the general public to take action.

Food safety is the absence or safe, acceptable levels of hazards in food that may harm the health of consumers. Food-borne hazards can be microbiological, chemical, or physical in nature and are often invisible to the plain eye: bacteria, viruses, or pesticide residues are some examples. Food safety has a critical role in assuring that food stays safe at every stage of the food chain from production to harvest, processing, storage, distribution, all the way to preparation and consumption.

Every year nearly 600 million people fall sick and 420,000 die globally because they consume food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins, or chemicals. The WHO (World Health Organization) South-East Asia Region is particularly affected, accounting for around 150 million illnesses and 175,000 deaths, costing nations an estimated $95 billion in lost productivity. An estimated three million people around the world in developed and developing countries die every year from food and waterborne disease. Food is the starting point for our energy, our health, and our well-being. We often take for granted that it is safe, but in an increasingly complex and interconnected world where food value chains are growing longer, standards and regulations are that much more important in keeping us safe.

When food is not safe, children cannot learn, adults cannot work. Human development cannot take place. Safe food is critical to promoting health and ending hunger. Let us remember, therefore, that there can never be food security without food safety. In a world where the food supply chain has become more complex, any food safety incident has global negative effects on public health, trade, and the economy.

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) through the Codex Alimentarius Commission have clearly set out international food standards. These are meant to protect the health of consumers, ensure fair practices in the food trade, as well as provide capacity building for countries to implement food safety systems.

Food safety is a shared responsibility between governments, producers, and consumers.  Everybody has a role to play from farm to table to ensure the food we consume is safe and will not cause damages to our health. Through World Food Safety Day, WHO pursues its efforts to mainstream food safety in the public agenda and reduce the burden of foodborne diseases globally. A globalized world with annual food exports currently in excess of USD 1.6 trillion and complex food systems demands international cooperation across sectors to ensure food is safe. Food safety is a shared responsibility among governments, food industries, producers, and consumers.

The Five Keys to Safer Food guideline is of paramount importance and form the backbone of food safety. These are;

  • keep clean,
  • separate raw and cooked foods,
  • cook food thoroughly,
  • keep food at safe temperatures and
  • use safe water and raw materials.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this “World Food Safety Day” is an opportunity to create awareness among policymakers, food business operators, and the nation at large to ensure that the food we eat is safe. Whether you produce, process, sell, or prepare food, you have a role in keeping it safe.

Hope you all have a great time.

Thank you all.