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The UN proclaims World Food Safety Day!


Today the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a World Food Safety Day. Starting in 2019, every 7 June will be a time to celebrate the myriad benefits of safe food.

“World Food Safety Day will be a chance for everyone to take a moment to think about something we often take for granted: food safety”, said Codex Secretary Tom Heilandt. “Thanks to the widespread efforts of Codex Members and Observers, the international community will speak with one voice on 7 June to promote awareness and inspire actions for safer food”, he said.

Unsafe food is a threat to human health and economies, disproportionally affecting vulnerable and marginalized people, especially women and children, populations affected by conflict and migrants. It also damages global trade leading to further food waste, which can no longer be tolerated in a world where many still suffer from hunger. The new annual observance, established thanks to concerted efforts led by Costa Rica, will draw attention and direct efforts to stopping the roughly 600 million cases of foodborne illnesses that occur annually.


How the proposal came about

It all started at the FERG - the Symposium on the Global burden of Food borne diseases - in Amsterdam on 15 December 2015, when then Codex Alimentarius Commission Chairperson Awilo Ochieng Pernet of Switzerland suggested the need for a World Food Safety Day. During her tenure as Chairperson, the idea became a concrete proposal set forth by Costa Rica. In 2016, the 39th session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission unanimously agreed to promote the proposal to establish a World Food Safety Day on a permanent basis within the framework of the United Nations.

The 40th Session of the FAO Conference in July 2017 adopted a resolution in support of a World Food Safety Day and the World Health Organization expressed their support in December 2017.

The proposal was then unveiled in New York at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at a July 2018 side event featuring Codex Members, Observers, parent organizations and the current and previous Commission Chairpersons.

The Twitter video campaign

The Codex community took part in a video campaign on Twitter, led by the Codex Secretariat from 17 September until 20 December 2018. Codex Members, Observer organizations and the general public joined in to express their support for creating a UN day dedicated to food safety: over 100 replies, including videos, photos and messages were received in the above-mentioned period for a total of over one million interactions.


See the World Food Safety Day section on the Codex Alimentarius website

Read more about the UN calendar