Food Safety

Food Safety Overview

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), 1 in 10 people fall ill annually from consuming contaminated food. Food contamination may occur at any point along the food supply chain, and as such, food safety measures must be implemented at all times. Food safety involves assessing chemical and microbiological risks in food, strengthening food control systems, estimating the burden and potential of foodborne diseases as well as promoting the safe handling of food across the supply chain.
Strengthening food control systems can be achieved by enforcing standardization of practices through food trade certifications. An assessment of chemical and microbiological risks on the other hand informs the development of standards required in food control systems. According to the FAO, safe handling of food involves five key measures namely, preserving food under safe temperatures, thorough cooking, separating raw from cooked, keeping food clean, and using safe water and raw materials for processing. Depending on the food type, either of these measures prevent possible contamination.

Annually, June 7th is marked as World Food Safety Day. The day was selected by FAO to create public awareness on food safety issues and reduce the burden of foodborne diseases globally. This year’s theme focused on the need to prevent, detect, and manage foodborne diseases for improved human health.