World Food Safety Day

Codex Alimentarius

World Food Safety Day 2023

World Food Safety Day 2023 campaign has the theme “Food standards save lives”. The theme coincides with the 60th anniversary of Codex Alimentarius this year and encourages food safety advocates around the world to focus on the importance of applying standards in every aspect of food production. This will be the fifth observance of World Food Safety Day. Since the first celebration in 2019 World Food Safety Day has grown every year in terms of the number of countries where it is celebrated, and the number of events organized.

who organises the event?

World Health Organization and  Food and Agriculture Organization work together to observe World Food Safety Day in a bid to prevent foodborne diseases and contribute to food security and human health.

What Is the Theme of World Food Safety Day 2023?

According to WHO, the theme of World Food Safety Day 2023 is "Food Standards Save Lives."

What is Codex Alimentarius?

The Codex Alimentarius, or "Food Code" is a collection of standards, guidelines and codes of practice adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. The Commission, also known as CAC, is the central part of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme and was established by FAO and WHO to protect consumer health and promote fair practices in food trade. It held its first meeting in 1963.

What are indian efforts in food safety?

  1. To protect and promote public health Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI was established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
  2. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) releases the State Food Safety Index (SFSI) to measure the performance of States across five parameters of food safety.

SFSI was started from 2018-19 with the aim of creating a competitive and positive change in the food safety ecosystem in the country.  The index will help in providing safe and nutritious food to our citizens.

Food safety parameters

  • Human Resources and Institutional Data (with 18% weightage): The objective is to check availability of strong culture and ecosystem of enforcement commensurate with the size and population of the State/UT as well as participation of other departments and stakeholders in food safety activity at State and district levels.This parameter measures the availability of human resources like number of Food Safety Officers, Designated Officers, facility of adjudications and appellate tribunals, functioning of State/ District level Steering Committees, pendency of cases and their monitoring and participationin Central Advisory Committee meetings of the Food Authority.
  • Compliance (with 28% weightage): This is the most important parameter and measures overall coverage of food businesses in licensing & registration commensurate with size and population of the State/UTs, special drives and camps organized, yearly increase, promptness and effectiveness in issue of state licenses/ registrations. Also, this parameter considers the inspections carried out for high risk food businesses through FoSCoRIS and the number of samples drawn for testing. Promptness in attending to the consumer grievances and availability of help desk and web portals are also examined under this parameter.
  • Food Testing- Infrastructure and Surveillance (with 18% weightage): This parameter measures availability of adequate testing infrastructure with trained manpower in the States/ UTs for testing food samples. The States/ UTs with NABL accredited labs and adequate manpower in the labs score more in this parameter. The availability and effective utilization of Mobile Food Testing Labs and registration and utilization of InFoLNet (Indian Food Laboratories Network) are also examined under this parameter.
  • Training and Capacity Building (with 8% weightage): This parameter focuses on training and capacity building of regulatory staff (Dos and FSOs), number of trainings held under FoSTaC (Food Safety Training and Certification) and the availability of trained Food Safety Supervisors in food businesses across the State/UT.
  • Consumer Empowerment and FSSAI initiatives (with 18% weightage): This parameter measures the performance of States/ UTs in various consumer empowering initiatives of FSSAI like participation in Food Fortification, Eat Right Campus, BHOG (Blissful Hygienic Offering to God), Hygiene Rating of Restaurants, Clean Street Food Hubs, etc. Further, action taken for coverage of food fortification in open market, government safety net programmes and availability of fortified products in all districts are taken into consideration. State initiated activities for creating consumer awareness are also considered.
  • Improvement in Rank of States/UTs from State Food Safety 2021-2022 (with 10% weightage) 

Categories of States

Further, based on the fact that similar States should be compared to ensure comparability among similar entities for the generation of ranks of States/UTs under SFSI, the States/UTs are classified into 3 categories namely Large States, Small States and UTs for the evaluation and assessment.

Categories Name of States/UTs 
Large States (20) Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal
Small States (8) Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura
Union Territories (UTs) (8) Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, National Capital Territory of Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Ladakh and Puducherry

The assessment and evaluation of each category are done by separate teams comprising of outside experts for food testing and food & nutrition professionals in addition to FSSAI officials. The teams examine the details received from States/UTs and also interacts with States/UTs through video-conferencing for verification and confirmation of data

Facts you should know

1) According to WHO,1 in 10 people around the world get affected by foodborne diseases every year while an estimated 16,00,000 people get sick each day due to unsafe food.

2) UN data indicated that foodborne disease lead to the death of almost 4,20,000 people each year with children contributing almost 40% of those at 1,25,000 deaths.

3) The World Bank's 2019 report shows that foodborne diseases cause about $95.2 billion in lost productivity each year in low- and middle-income countries. The report also shows that the cost of treating foodborne diseases is $15 billion a year.

4) According to the WHO, unsafe food containing bacteria, viruses and parasites leads to more than 200 food-borne diseases. The way to prevent these diseases is through adequate hygiene, handling, storage and processing practices.

5) Food safety plays an important role in ensuring that food remains safe at every stage, including harvesting, processing, storage and distribution, until it is ready to be prepared and consumed..

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