Thursday, 7th December 2017 from 12.45 to 14.15, Sheikh Zayed Centre

World Food Safety Day

Background information:

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva will open this side event, highlighting the Organization’s unique role in ensuring food safety along the food chain. Alongside the World Health Organization, FAO manages a Joint Food Standards Programme. Part of the programme is the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the international body that sets food safety standards.

The 188 Codex members have negotiated science-based recommendations in all areas related to food safety and quality: food hygiene; maximum limits for food additives; residues of pesticides and veterinary drugs; and maximum limits and codes for the prevention of chemical and microbiological contamination. To determine these limits, FAO works with WHO to provide the science on which food safety standards are based and also supports countries in implementing food safety programmes. 

Underlining the significant threat to health worldwide and the obstacles to socio-economic development posed by foodborne disease, Ms Geannina Dinarte Romero, Minister for Economy, Industry and Commerce of Costa Rica, will explain why her country decided to drive the initiative for a World Food Safety Day.

The event will build participants’ understanding of the importance of food safety for the health of consumers, food security and nutrition as well as for economic development. It will outline how Codex international food standards impact people’s daily lives and discuss how Codex connects to the Sustainable Development Goals. Comprised of members and observers from all walks of life, Codex is ideally suited to build the consensus needed to develop international food standards.

A high-level panel will subsequently provide national examples of the benefits of food safety standards that ensure consumer health (with good, nutritious food) without causing unnecessary protectionism or barriers to trade. Member countries will share their experiences working with FAO to improve systems of food safety and quality management, based on scientific principles, leading to reduced foodborne illness, and supporting fair and transparent food trade.

The event will conclude with an interactive session, moderated by the Codex Secretary, with the participation of Head of the FAO Food Safety and Quality Unit and the Director of the WHO Department of Food Safety and Zoonoses, allowing for an exchange between participantsand panellists.

Founded in 1963, the Codex Alimentarius is jointly managed by FAO and WHO. The Codex Alimentarius international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice contribute to food safety and quality and fair practices in the food trade.

To raise awareness about the FAO-WHO Joint Programme on Food Safety and how countries are enhancing food safety and facilitating trade.

Responsible office:

Codex Secretariat (AGFC)


English, French, Spanish

Clikc here for the Agenda

Twitter hashtag:

#CL158 #FoodSafety #Codex