“There is no food security without food safety…”
In addition to debating the legal consequences of Chagos Archipelago’s 1965 split from Mauritius and updating the status of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, the United Nations‘ General Assembly will discuss another important matter when it meets in September: whether to establish a World Food Safety Day.
The U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization has already adopted a draft resolution that puts the wheels in motion for this international day. The resolution has been forwarded to the secretary-general of the United Nations so that it can be added to the organization’s September agenda. If the resolution passes through the General Assembly, World Food Safety Day would be set for June 7 of each year, the F.A.O. says.
World Food Safety Day would “raise awareness of the global threat posed by foodborne diseases and reinforce the need for governments, the food industry, and individuals to do more to make food safe and prevent these diseases,” said Ren Wang, director of F.A.O.’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection.
The draft resolution clearly states that “there is no food security without food safety, and that in a world where the food supply chain has become global, any food safety incident has global negative effects on public health, trade, and the economy.”
Costa Rica, Argentina, Venezuela, and Estonia have already spoken favorably about the food safety day. In fact, Costa Rica was one of the sponsors of the resolution and has stated that having a World Food Safety Day would not only help raise awareness of the threat of foodborne illness but also obstacles to socio-economic development posed by foodborne disease, the Codex Alimentarius Commission recently reported.
The U.S. has a National Food Safety Month. It was created by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and aims to educate the public on various food safety issues every September. This year’s theme will be norovirus and Hepatitis A, both of which have notable hit Chipotle restaurants (among others) in recent years.