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codexalimentarius > WFSD-2023 > Theme and Slogan
  "Food standards save lives"

When you eat, how do you know your food is safe? You have probably washed your hands, cleaned your kitchenware and cooked your food to the right temperature, all good food safety practices. You have probably read food packaging labels to see what ingredients the product contains or how to cook it. And perhaps without realizing it, you have trusted everyone involved in growing, processing, packaging, distributing and preparing your food in the right way so that you can enjoy it without falling ill. Your food was safe and your trust justified because the people involved in making your food - whether close to your home or on the other side of the world - followed established food safety practices, which are transparently available in the form of standards. In other words, food standards form the bedrock of trust for all of us.

Food standards are a way of ensuring safety and quality.

They provide guidance on hygienic food handling for farmers and processors. They define the maximum levels of additives, contaminants, residues of pesticides and veterinary drugs that can safely be consumed by all. Furthermore, standards specify how the food should be measured, packaged and transported to keep it safe. Thanks to the application of standards on things like nutrition and allergen labelling, consumers can know whether the food will be good for them.

Most governments and organizations adopt and enforce food standards that are based on scientific risk assessments, covering hazards that are biological, chemical and physical in nature. The standards can be developed by individual governments or organizations, or by regional or intergovernmental standard-setting bodies. One such international food safety and quality standard-setting body is the Codex Alimentarius Commission, or Codex for short. Codex is the place where representatives of 188 Member Countries and 1 Member Organization (the European Union) work together to make sure food is safe.

In 2023, as Codex turns 60, we celebrate food standards for defining the path to safe food for everyone everywhere.

  “Food safety is everyone’s business”

Food supply chains involve several people: producers, processors, transporters, distributors, retailers, cooks as well as consumers.
At every point in the chain, there are hazards that can cause contamination. Everyone involved at the various stages has a responsibility to keep food safe.

There are five calls to action on World Food Safety Day:

  • 1. Ensure it’s safe - Governments must ensure safe and nutritious food for all
  • 2. Grow it safe - Agriculture and food producers need to adopt good practices
  • 3. Keep it safe - Business operators must make sure food is safe
  • 4. Know what’s safe - Consumers need to learn about safe and healthy food
  • 5. Team up for food safety – Let’s work together for safe food and good health!