Strengthening Food Safety: FAO's Call to Action on World Food Safety Day

- 07 June 2023 03:41 WIB
Indonesian herbs and spices being prepared for a dish.
Indonesian herbs and spices being prepared for a dish.

JAKARTADAILY.ID – In an ever-changing world, the safety of our food is paramount. As the global population grows, urban areas expand, land resources come under pressure, and climate change impacts our food systems, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) emphasizes the crucial role of food standards in safeguarding public health.

On the occasion of World Food Safety Day, commemorated annually on June 7th, FAO urges policymakers, practitioners, and investors to prioritize the production and consumption of safe and sustainable food for healthier lives. Rajendra Aryal, FAO Representative in Indonesia and Timor Leste, stresses the importance of food safety, stating, "By upholding high food safety standards, we can save lives and ensure a safer food supply chain."

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The theme for this year's World Food Safety Day is "Food standards save lives," aiming to raise awareness about the critical role of food standards in protecting consumers and promoting fair food trade. Aryal further asserts, "Promoting food safety makes a difference. Through dedicated efforts from governments, policymakers, and other stakeholders, including the private sector, we are witnessing an increase in awareness about food safety, which is vital for public health and well-being", added Aryal.

Alarming statistics reveal that one in ten people worldwide falls ill each year due to consuming contaminated food, affecting all nations. More than 200 diseases are associated with the consumption of unsafe food. Aryal emphasizes the need for collective action to protect vulnerable populations, particularly children under 5 years old, who bear a disproportionate burden of foodborne illnesses.

Indonesia’s Role in Codex Alimentarius Commission

Indonesia actively participates in the work of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, an international body established by FAO and WHO to set food standards. The Indonesian government recognizes the significance of aligning its national food safety standards with the international Codex standards to ensure fair trade and protect public health.

The National Standardization Agency (BSN) serves as Indonesia's Codex Focal Point and plays a pivotal role in implementing and promoting Codex standards within the country. The Focal Point coordinates the National Codex Committee, comprising representatives from various government agencies, business associations, consumer organizations, and scientific institutions. This committee reviews, adopts, and proposes necessary revisions or new standards to ensure that Indonesia's national food safety standards align with international Codex standards, guaranteeing safe and high-quality food for consumers.

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FAO collaborates closely with the Indonesian government and other partners to strengthen food safety control systems in the country. Through technical assistance, capacity building, and policy guidance, FAO aims to enhance food safety practices and standards throughout the entire food value chain. FAO's partnership with Indonesia and other nations is pivotal in promoting food safety and ensuring public health.

"No matter who you are or what you do, you play an important role in making sure food is safe to eat. Let us commit to upholding high food safety standards and working collaboratively to safeguard public health and well-being", added Aryal further.

FAO calls on individuals, businesses, and governments to acknowledge their shared responsibility in ensuring food safety.

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Editor: Suksmajati Kumara


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