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codexalimentarius > WFSD-2022 > Slogan and theme
  "Safer food, better health"

Safe food is essential to human health and well-being. Only when food is safe can we fully benefit from its nutritional value and from the mental and social benefits of sharing a safe meal. Safe food is one of the most critical guarantors for good health.

Unsafe foods are the cause of many diseases and contribute to other poor health conditions, such as impaired growth and development, micronutrient deficiencies, noncommunicable or communicable diseases and mental illness. Globally, 1 in 10 people are affected by foodborne diseases annually. The good news is that most foodborne diseases are preventable.

Our behaviour, the way we build food systems and how we organize food supply chains can prevent infectious and toxic hazards, microbial pathogens (bacteria, viruses and parasites), chemical residues, biotoxins and other noxious or dangerous substances from getting onto our plates.

We need to transform food systems to deliver better health, and we need to do so in a sustainable manner. Food systems policy-makers, practitioners and investors should reorient their activities to increase the sustainable production and consumption of safe foods in order to improve health outcomes. To make safe and healthy diets accessible for all, applicable agricultural, food, trade and industry development policies need to promote food safety. Systemic changes for better health will bring safer food, which is a critical enabler of long-term human development and a prerequisite for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Food safety in the time of COVID-19

While COVID-19 has not been transmitted by food, the pandemic has sharpened the focus on food safety-related issues, such as hygiene, antimicrobial resistance, zoonotic diseases, climate change, food fraud and the potential benefits of digitalizing food systems. It has also identified weaknesses or vulnerabilities in food production and control systems. For the immediate future, minimizing disruptions in the food supply chains remains one of the highest priorities of all governments, as consumers must have reliable access to food.

A risk-based approach to food safety and to meeting food safety requirements can help keep global food supplies open and enable consumer access to food. Concerted efforts on food safety will help countries mitigate the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic and boost their resilience for the long term by facilitating and accelerating food and agricultural trade, helping to prevent the next zoonotic pandemic and transforming food systems.

  “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!