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Celebrating World Food Safety Day 2024: Preparing for the Unexpected

On June 7, 2024, the global community united to celebrate World Food Safety Day under the theme “Food Safety: Prepare for the Unexpected.” This annual event, facilitated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), aims to highlight food safety issues and inspire actions to prevent, detect, and manage foodborne risks. Such actions contribute significantly to food security, human health, economic prosperity, and sustainable development. 

Codex Alimentarius: Supporting Global Food Safety 

The Codex Alimentarius is about safe, good food for everyone, everywhere. As international food trade has grown exponentially over the last century, the Codex Alimentarius international food standards, guidelines, and codes of practice have become essential. These standards contribute to the safety, quality, and fairness of international food trade, ensuring consumers can trust the safety and quality of the food products they buy. 

Public concerns about food safety issues often place Codex at the center of global debates. Codex standards, based on sound science provided by independent international risk assessment bodies organized by FAO and WHO, serve as the basis for national legislation in many cases. Additionally, Codex standards have far-reaching implications for resolving trade disputes under the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement). 

Since its foundation in 1963, the Codex system has evolved to meet emerging challenges in an open, transparent, and inclusive way. The international food trade is a 2,000 billion dollar a year industry, with billions of tonnes of food produced, marketed, and transported.

In celebration of World Food Safety Day 2024, Codex published a case study highlighting how Honduras used Codex texts to manage a Salmonella Braenderup outbreak in galia melons, affecting over 300 people across Europe. By working with the FAO/WHO International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) and the UK food safety authorities, Honduras effectively identified the contamination source and implemented measures to prevent recurrence. This case exemplifies the vital role of Codex standards in guiding national authorities during food safety emergencies, aligning with this year’s theme, “Food Safety: Prepare for the Unexpected.” 

World Food Safety Day 2024 successfully underscores the importance of preparedness and collective responsibility in ensuring food safety. Through diverse events and initiatives worldwide, stakeholders from all sectors demonstrated their commitment to preventing foodborne illnesses and maintaining safe food supplies. The celebration served as a vital reminder that food safety is everyone’s business, and effective collaboration and preparedness can help navigate the unexpected challenges in the food supply chain. 

Upcoming World Food Safety Day Events 

If you’re planning an event for World Food Safety Day and want to be featured in the events list, email with the event name, date, local time, a brief description, a poster or other publicity, and a web link for more information. 

Upcoming events include a session by Venezuelan food safety professionals on June 15, 2024, in Bejuma, Carabobo State, focusing on foodborne disease outbreaks and solutions in the context of climate change and globalization.

Additionally, the African Union Commission’s agencies AUDA-NEPAD and PACA, supported by the EU-AU Partnership for Resilient, Inclusive and Safe Food Systems and FS4Africa projects, will host a webinar on June 27, 2024, addressing “Bridging Gaps in the Informal Sector.” 

Date: 27 June 2024 
Time: 14:00 CEST 

Read more on UP-RISE 

Global Participation and Events

Romania: The Faculty of Industrial Chemistry and Environmental Engineering at the University POLITEHNICA Timisoara in Romania joined the WHO and FAO campaign by organizing the “Youth and Food Safety Competition”. This event invited middle school, high school, and college students to create posters on various food chain components that impact food safety significantly. The competition aimed to engage young minds and enhance their understanding of critical food safety aspects.

Near East: The Coordinating Committee for the Near East (CCNE) held a virtual meeting themed “Prepare for the Unexpected“. Members, including the Codex Secretariat, discussed food safety events and emphasized the collective responsibility of ensuring food safety. The meeting examined various food safety incidents, underscoring the importance of preparedness and collaboration.  

Brazil: In Sertãozinho, São Paulo, Via Rovigo celebrated World Food Safety Day with activities focusing on contamination with foreign materials. The event included lectures, information murals, and special gifts, concluding with snacks, embodying the slogan “The Food We Need“. 

India: Ramdevrao Hospital in Hyderabad, India, conducted training sessions for patients, families, and staff on healthy eating habits. Hospital dieticians ensured each patient received a nutritious diet appropriate for their recovery while educating them on maintaining safe food habits at home, based on the five keys to safe food. 

Mexico: Grupo Jumex in Mexico organized a “Safety Expo” across its local and foreign plants. The event featured displays on food safety issues, internal communication strategies, quality assurance, and the importance of ensuring food product safety. This collaborative effort aimed to raise awareness and promote a culture of food safety within the company. 

Bangladesh: The Bangladesh Food Safety Foundation (BFSF), along with six other organizations, convened a seminar focusing on “Ensuring Food Safety in a Nation of Resilience: Unexpected Events, Role of Public Agencies and Private Sector for Uninterrupted Supply Chain.” Keynote speakers included prominent academics and professionals who discussed the roles of various sectors in maintaining food safety during unforeseen events. 

Nepal: In Kathmandu, Nepal, World Food Safety Day 2024 began with an interactive program on food safety emergency preparedness and response. Supported by the Codex Trust Fund project, the event aimed to draw attention to food safety risks and inspire action to prevent and manage them effectively. 

Wayne Dredge

Wayne Dredge has joined Emerging ag Inc in the role of Special Advisor.

Based in Australia, Wayne is the Managing Director and owner of Piscari Industries Pty Ltd, a small commercial fishing company, that he began in 2010. Piscari Industries operates multiple vessels across four separate state and national fisheries. He remains actively engaged in the commercial fishing industry as a board member of two industry associations, Seafood Industries Victoria and Southern Rock Lobster Ltd, as well as being a member of Victoria’s multi-stakeholder Rock Lobster Resource Assessment Group which is a scientific advisory body to the Rock Lobster sector in Victoria.

In 2014 Wayne was awarded an Australian Nuffield Scholarship which focussed on Innovation and Accountability in Commercial Fisheries. While undertaking his scholarship he travelled to over thirty countries researching different production practices and management structures across multiple food system sectors.

Upon completing his scholarship Wayne took on a voluntary role with Nuffield International which saw him planning and running agribusiness tours across south and east Africa as well as coordinating groups of farmers and small to medium agricultural enterprises to engage with UN policy processes at the UN Committee on Food Security and FAO symposium’s.

In 2022 Wayne led the negotiation team for the Private Sector Mechanism to the UN Committee on Food Security’s policy guidelines on Promoting Youth Engagement and Employment in Agriculture and Food Systems.

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