Food safety and quality

World Food Safety Day 2021 summed up in a report


FAO and WHO have released a publication, now available in six languages, that encapsulates what transpired on World Food Safety Day (7 June 2021). The 24-page report, entitled World Food Safety Day 2021 - An overview of festivity and creativity, offers a glimpse into the impressive array of events, initiatives and campaigns organized by government authorities, private sector actors, academics, schools and others in around 90 countries.

There were countless virtual events again this year, at local, national, regional and global level and the scale of many of these events was only possible because of the wonders of the internet. “World Food Safety Day is only three, but it is already maturing in the virtual world and maybe partly because of it,” states Tom Heilandt, Codex Secretary, in his contribution to the report. Luz Maria De-Regil, Unit Head, Multisectoral Action in Food Systems, World Health Organization (WHO) echoes this sentiment and highlights the positive side to the ‘virtual’ nature of World Food Safety Day: “This, instead of being a limitation, sparked creativity and connectivity,” she says.

A multitude of videos, posters, photographs, quizzes, GIFs and posts bearing the #WorldFoodSafetyDay hashtag were shared across all social media platforms.

The overview takes a look at the World Food Safety Day event hosted by FAO, WHO and Codex, where the Chief Scientists of both FAO and WHO, Ismahane Elouafi and Soumya Swaminathan, respectively, spoke of the role of science in food safety. Mindful of this year’s theme, “Safe food now for a healthy tomorrow”, they discussed how digital technologies and scientific advances are helping to ensure food safety today and hold promise for the future.

Included, too, are contributions from Markus Lipp, Senior Food Safety Officer at FAO, and Peter Ben Embarek, Food Safety Expert and Unit Head in WHO, INFOSAN Secretariat, as well as a summary of events from every region of the world. A digest of the coverage of World Food Safety Day in mainstream media around the globe, as well as social media, shows the reach that World Food Safety now has.

The report is launched just two weeks before the UN Food Systems Summit and serves as a reminder that food safety is a vital feature of sustainable food systems; it is a central component of the Summit’s ‘Action Track 1’. The final article reminds readers that World Food Safety Day is meant to set in motion a year-round effort to promote and ensure safe food for all.

 Download the publication in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish

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