June 7th, World Food Safety Day
On 20 December 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the decision to proclaim June 7th World Food Safety Day, which is being marked this year for the fourth time. This year’s slogan is “Safer food, better health”.
Food safety is provided for consumers through a comprehensive system of controls and measures that have been adopted. With globalisation, distribution channels in the food business are changing – both expanding and lengthening. This, however, also increases the likelihood of risks emerging.
To protect human health, measures have been adopted to ensure that unsafe food is not placed on the market or, if discovered on the market, is immediately withdrawn. Food safety risk identification systems have been put in place, as well as systems of responding to such risks. Every operator of activities in the food chain bears their own responsibility. They must identify and manage risk factors pertaining to their activity, while appropriate consumer protection and thus the protection of public health is provided by ensuring traceability and through sharing information about any incidents of non-compliance that have been identified.
Inspection services also have their own responsibility – in the course of inspections, they must check whether the responsible operators of activities have established appropriate internal control systems.
Consumers have a responsibility as well, from ensuring suitable conditions for transporting food to their homes, to storing it properly and handling/preparing it in appropriate ways.
Every link in the agri-food chain can potentially impact food safety. Food safety and the protection of consumer interests is increasingly becoming a point of concern for the public, NGOs and professional associations. In light of the upcoming high food costs, the Administration for Food Safety, Veterinary Sector and Plant Protection will be performing official control tasks pertaining to the safety, quality and labelling of agricultural products and food, taking into account the specifics of the current period, in cooperation with other stakeholders.
Food safety is therefore the joint responsibility of all links within the agri-food chain, state authorities and consumers, and must be based on mutual trust and the timely exchange of information.