Page tools
codexalimentarius > News and Events > News details

World Food Day 2023 / Codex work on water contributes to safer food


World Food Day 2023 is celebrated under the theme "Water is life, water is food. Leave no one behind". FAO is hosting a week-long series of events from Monday 16 to Friday 20 October welcoming world leaders, experts, changemakers, youth and indigenous activists to spark global action for water, climate action and sustainable agrifood systems.

Water is essential for life and it is, indeed, food. But it is also essential in food production and processing. Ensuring that water coming into contact with food is itself safe can help preventing as many as 200 waterborne diseases. Disease-causing bacteria such as Salmonella, Escherichia coli spp, Vibrio spp, and many others can be transmitted from contaminated water to food, as can waterborne viruses, chemicals and parasites.

Ensuring the safety of water in food production becomes additionally challenging for those who are faced with deteriorating water availability. This November, the 46th session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC46) is expected to adopt new “Guidelines for the Safe Use and Reuse of Water in Food Production and Processing”, providing advice on the types of water that are suitable for different areas of production. These guidelines aim to advice on a risk-based approach to safe sourcing so food producers, processors and handlers can detect, reduce and manage water-related hazards in food production, among other suggestions.

“The Guidelines for the Safe Use and Reuse of Water in Food Production is a one-of-a-kind text in Codex as it was developed to provide practical advice to help Member Countries evaluate risks and interventions by applying a risk-based approach with tools such as decision trees and risk matrices that can be used to determine if water is fit for purpose,” said Mirian Bueno, Honduras, who was part of the working group that led the development of these guidelines.

Photo © FAO/Seyllou Diallo


Read more

Follow the live events broadcast from FAO HQ in Rome, Italy:

Visit the World Food Day website


Codex texts on water