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World Food Safety Day 7 June / Working together to make food safe


Guilherme da Costa, Chairperson Codex Alimentarius Commission

Today we are celebrating the second World Food Safety Day, but we are observing this under very different circumstances to its inauguration a short 12 months ago. At that time we were still able to come together do discuss the importance of food safety. I was able to meet colleagues and friends from many Member countries face-to-face at a World Food Safety Day Event in The United Nations, New York and advocate for food safety and the important role that Codex Standards play.

People are more aware than ever of their food supplies.

We could not have imagined a scenario where that would not be possible, when many of us would be confined to our homes, when, no matter where you were, the act of getting food required planning and perseverance, and where more of us than ever were preparing food from home or making use of food delivery services. Yet here we are and as I reflect on this new normal and all its challenges I also see the many positives emerging from this. People are more aware than ever of their food supplies and the good practices needed to bring it safely to our tables. Good hygiene and hand washing are embedded more than ever in our behaviour.

So while the challenges persist for the food production sector I am confident that we will emerge from this pandemic with greater awareness of food safety and its important role in consumer health and livelihoods. And on this the second World Food Safety Day I would like to thank all those who have worked to keep our food safe and being fairly traded worldwide at this time.

We call for action and investment in food safety.

As Chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and together with the Vice Chairpersons we are very proud to be celebrating this day as the idea for a World Food Safety Day came from the Membership of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. This day allows us to come together to express pride in the work that we do to contribute to safe food and also call for action and investment in food safety so that we can ultimately ensure safe food for all.  

This year it is also a reminder that whatever the circumstances we must continue to work for safe food. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted the Codex schedule of physical meetings. But we are working together to use new tools and means of communication to continue the work of Codex. It is through working together and adapting to the situation that we can continue to make food safe. Happy World Food Safety Day.