As we celebrate the first World Food Safety Day, World Health Organization (WHO) has about 420,000 people all over the world have lost their lives from eating food contaminated by bacteria, viruses or chemical substance.
A statement released by WHO ahead of the first World Food Safety Day revealed an estimated 600 million people fall sick for the same reason, adding that the given statistics is just a tip of the iceberg as there are lots of unreported cases.
The inaugural food safety day which was themed, ‘food safety: a business of all’ was approved by the United Nation General Assembly in December 2018.
The initiative is themed ‘Food safety, everyone’s business’ and this year highlights that access to safe and nutritious food is the shared responsibility of governments, producers as well as individuals.
WHO said food safety contributes to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism, and sustainable development.
“Unsafe food also hinders development in low-and-middle-income economies, which lose around $95 billion in productivity associated with illness, disability and premature death suffered by workers.
“FAO and WHO are joining forces to assist countries to prevent, manage and respond to risks along the food supply chain, working with food producers and vendors, regulatory authorities and civil society stakeholders, whether the food is domestically produced or imported,” it said.
FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, said “whether you are a farmer, farm supplier, food processor, transporter, marketer or consumer, food safety is your business. “There is no food security without food safety.”
WHO Director-General, Ghebreyesus Tedros, said unsafe food kills an estimated 420,000 people every year.
“These deaths are entirely preventable. World Food Safety Day is a unique opportunity to raise awareness about the dangers of unsafe food with governments, producers, handlers and consumers. From farm to plate, we all have a role to play in making food safe,” Mr. Tedros said.
It should be recalled there have been several reports of people and families dying after eating contaminated food. Also, Nigerians were alerted to the need to be careful of the beans they consume as a video of a retailer using Sniper (a dangerous chemical used to kill flies) to preserve beans before selling to the public.