The fifth World Food Safety Day (WFSD) is held on 7 June 2023 to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agricultural production, market access, tourism and sustainable development.
Food safety has a direct impact on health. Safe food allows for the uptake of nutrients, promotes long-term human development and achievement of several of the SDGs. Food safety is a shared responsibility, involving the whole supply chain, from producers to consumers. In this context, most foodborne disease is preventable with proper food handling and education at all levels.
Theme for World Food Safety Day 2023: “Food Standards Save Lives”.
The theme for World Food Safety Day 2023, “Food Standards Save Lives” emphasizes the need for a comprehensive and integrated approach to food safety. It recognizes that food safety involves all stages of the food production and consumption process, from agricultural practices and food processing to storage, distribution, and preparation. By highlighting this holistic perspective, the campaign aims to foster collaboration among governments, businesses, farmers, and consumers to ensure safe food for all.
How International Standards can ensure food safety and quality:
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.
Harmonization: International standards promote harmonization of food safety and quality requirements, facilitating trade between countries. When countries adopt consistent standards, it becomes easier for food producers to comply with regulations and access global markets.
Risk Assessment and Management: International standards provide a framework for assessing and managing food safety risks. Organizations such as the Codex Alimentarius Commission establish guidelines for risk analysis, including hazard identification, risk assessment, and risk management. These standards help identify potential hazards and establish appropriate control measures to ensure safe food production and handling.
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP): International standards define Good Agricultural Practices, which promote safe and sustainable farming methods. These practices cover areas such as soil and water management, pesticide use, and animal welfare. By adhering to GAP, farmers can minimize contamination risks and produce high-quality, safe food.
Traceability and Labeling: International standards provide guidelines for food traceability and labeling. Traceability systems enable the identification and tracking of food products throughout the supply chain, allowing for quick response and targeted recalls in case of safety issues. Accurate labeling provides consumers with essential information about the product’s origin, ingredients, allergens, and nutritional content.
Quality Management Systems: International standards, such as ISO 9001, establish quality management systems for food-related organizations. These systems help ensure consistent product quality by providing a framework for process control, documentation, continuous improvement, and customer satisfaction. Adhering to such standards fosters a culture of quality and accountability throughout the food supply chain.
Inspection and Certification: International standards contribute to the development of inspection and certification processes. Independent certification bodies assess and verify compliance with relevant standards, providing assurance to consumers and facilitating international trade. Certifications like ISO 22000 (Food Safety Management Systems) and GlobalGAP (Good Agricultural Practices) demonstrate a commitment to food safety and quality.
If you are dealing with foods, it is advisable to implement the following standards:
- SS 668:2020 Cold Chain Management of Chilled and Frozen foods to strengthen your cold chain ecosystem, and
- ISO 22000:2018 Food Safety Management to help organizations identify and control food safety hazards.
These Standards consist of establishing a HACCP Plan (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) to ensure safe and wholesome food for your consumers, and to identify various hazards involved during receiving, storage, preparation, transportation and serving of food.
World Food Safety Day 2023 is a global call to action to ensure safe and nutritious food for all. By adopting a comprehensive approach, involving all stakeholders, and promoting sustainable practices, we can minimize the risks of foodborne diseases and safeguard public health. Together, let’s raise awareness, strengthen food safety systems, and empower consumers to create a world where everyone has access to safe and healthy food from farm to fork.
For more information on how GICG can support your company in your journey to manage the safety of your products and the well-being of your consumers, visit: https://bit.ly/GICGCert