World Food Safety Day 2023
Why improving food safety is important
Access to sufficient amounts of safe food is key to sustaining life and promoting good health. Foodborne illnesses are usually infectious or toxic in nature and often invisible to the plain eye, caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances entering the body through contaminated food or water.
Food safety has a critical role in assuring that food stays safe at every stage of the food chain - from production to harvest, processing, storage, distribution, all the way to preparation and consumption.
With an estimated 600 million cases of foodborne illnesses annually, unsafe food is a threat to human health and economies, disproportionally affecting vulnerable and marginalized people, especially women and children, populations affected by conflict, and migrants.
An estimated 420.000 people around the world die every year after eating contaminated food and children under 5 years of age carry 40% of the foodborne disease burden, with 125.000 deaths every year.
• Unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances causes more than 200 diseases.
• Recent estimates indicate that the impact of unsafe food costs low- and middle-income economies around US$ 95 billion in lost productivity each year.
• Good hygiene practices in the food and agricultural sectors help to reduce the emergence and spread of foodborne diseases.
Source: The United Nations