Food Safety Day 1- 7th June 2019

Food is an integral part of health and well-being, and poor and unsafe diets are one of the significant risk factors for disease and death. Access to safe and nutritious food is vital to sustaining quality life and promoting good health among citizens.

The 73rd session of the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring 7th June as World Food Safety Day every year to provide an opportunity to raise awareness on the impact of unsafe food on public health.

As per WHO estimates, contaminated food is responsible for more than 200 diseases ranging from diarrhoea to cancer.

Food Safety, nutrition and food security are inseparable, and it is impossible to consider one without the other. Unsafe food creates a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition, particularly among the vulnerable group consisting of infants, young children, elderly and the sick. Foodborne diseases hinder socio-economic development by imposing a heavy burden on healthcare systems, harm national economies, tourism and trade.

It can be undeniably stated that safe food contributes to economic prosperity, boosting agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development, and the World Food Safety Day takes us one step closer to that collective goal. Food Safety is key to achieving one of the many sustainable development goals by bringing the World Food Safety Day to the spotlight; governments can help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks and mishaps.

Food supply chains in today’s terms cross multiple regional and national borders and hence sustained positive collaborations between the government, producers and consumers can help ensure food safety.

To take this message effectively to every citizen, the Commissionerate of Food Safety Kerala organised a week-long celebration throughout the state from 1st to 7th June 2019. A series of events were planned to engage the different sections of the society, including students, researchers, FBOs, homemakers and working professionals alike.

The following events were organised at both the state and district levels:

  • Cyclothon to spread the message and theme – “Food Safety – Everyone’s Business” on 1st June 2019

The cyclothon was flagged of by the Honourable Health Minister Smt.K.K.Shailaja Teacher at 8:30 am and 50 cyclists from the Sports Authority of India cycled their way into the city with flags carrying the theme of the World Food Safety Day. Flash mobs and activations were carried out at prominent locations of the city to capture the attention of the public. Pamphlets on food safety were distributed to the onlookers during the event.

  • Employing Mobile Food Testing Labs for IEC and sample testing at different locations on 2nd June 2019

The mobile food testing labs of the department were deployed to conduct surveillance sampling and testing of oil, water and milk samples provided by FBOs and the general public. The labs were stationed at four different locations of the city during the day and more than 150 samples were tested for adulteration on the spot.

  • Eat Right Mela and Cookery Contest for various categories of participants on 3rd June 2019

The Eat Right Mela was successfully organised to help build awareness on safe foods and healthy diets through an interactive approach. The event was supported by the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust.

An Eat Right Cookery Contest was organised to reiterate the message of consuming safe and healthy food. 14 teams of participants from various categories including students, FBOs,NGOs,Homemakers and working women put their culinary skills to good use and prepared delicacies based on the theme. The event was well received and a special talk on healthy eating habits by the Excise Commissioner Sri.Rishi Raj Singh IPS kept the audience engaged.

A play on the theme “Drug Abuse” was also staged during the event. A stall on Food Fortification and an Eco Shop selling organic agricultural produce were also set up at the venue. Samples of fortified milk were distributed among the participants.

  • Seminar and Panel Discussion on Food Safety and Lifestyle diseases : A contemporary perspective on 4th June 2019

A panel discussion and seminar was organised in association with the National Health Mission to highlight the impact of lifestyle diseases on the population. A team of expert speakers including Doctors, Veterinarians,Researchers, and Scientists led the panel discussion that was attended by a crowd of 250 + students and research scholars. A demonstration on Yoga and its benefit to combat lifestyle ailments was also conducted during the event.

  • Quiz Programmes for school and college students at District Level on Food Safety

Interactive quiz programmes were simultaneously organised in all 14 districts of the state on 29th May to commemorate the World Food Safety Day.

The event witnessed participation of more than 20 teams of students from schools and colleges who actively engaged in the session. Prizes were awarded to the winners by the District Collectors.

  • Awareness generation for FBOs at their premises through organised inspections on 6th June 2019

Inspections were conducted at various locations to generate awareness on safe food practices for FBOs. An interactive session was also organised for Technopark employees on the same day to raise awareness on food safety at workplace.

  • Troll competition for the general public to spread awareness on food safety in social media channels in an entertaining manner.

A troll competition was organised for the general public to creatively present their views on food safety on social media platforms. The best entries were published on the official Facebook page of the department and prizes for the most creative troll were also announced to the participants . The best entry that received the maximum shares on social media platforms would be adjudged the winner.

  • Culmination ceremony and taking the Food Safety Pledge on 

The week long celebrations of the world food safety day culminated in a concluding ceremony on 7th June 2019, during which the Honourable Minister for Tourism, Culture and Devaswom, Sri. Kadakampally Surendran addressed the gathering and spoke on the necessity of celebrating World Food Safety Day. The Minister appreciated the efforts of the department in spreading the message and also administered the pledge on food safety. The event was also attended by the MLA Sri.V.S.Sivakumar, who spoke on the importance of following a healthy diet.

Prizes for the winners of the Eat right cookery contest were distributed during the event.