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World Food Safety Day 2021: WHO emphasises importance of food security amid COVID-19 pandemic

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This year the global food safety watch dogs are emphasising the importance of proper food security and the risks associated with harmful eating practices, in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘World Food Safety Day’ as per the World Health Organization (WHO)is observed annually on June 7 to raise awareness about foodborne risks and help prevent, detect, and manage untoward diseases.

This year the global food safety watch dogs are emphasising the importance of proper food security and the risks associated with harmful eating practices, in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Nations general assembly (UNGA) has been discussing the need to establish a world food safety day.  A resolution was adopted on December 20, 2018, by the assembly to mark June 7 as the day to “celebrate the myriad benefits of safe food”. 

Through World Food Safety Day, WHO works to mainstream food safety in the public agenda and reduce the burden of foodborne diseases globally. “Food safety is everyone’s business,” according to the public health agency.

The World Health Assembly (WHA) passed a resolution on August 3, 2020, to declare June 7 – the World Food Safety Day – as an imperative day to raise awareness at all levels about the importance of food safety.

The theme for this year is ‘Safe food today for a healthy tomorrow’. 

With this, WHO intends to stress the fact that the production and consumption of safe food have immediate and long-lasting benefits for people, the environment and the economy. 

“Food safety is a shared responsibility between governments, producers, and consumers. Everyone has a role to play from farm to table to ensure the food we consume is safe and healthy,” read an event update on the WHO website.

While there is currently no evidence that suggests that the transmission of the COVID-19 is associated with food, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that proper food safety etiquette should be followed in general. 

This includes follow the COVID-19 guidelines like washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before preparing or eating food, and keep strict checks on the possibility of contamination of food products during storage or packaging.

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