Uganda on Friday joined the rest of the world to celebrate the World Food Safety Day that is aimed raising awareness about the dangers of unsafe food with governments, producers, handlers and consumers.
This is the first World Food Safety Day to be celebrated globally since the United Nations General Assembly, adopted a resolution proclaiming it on 20th December, 2018.
Every year, nearly one in 10 people in the world fall ill and 420,000 die after eating food contaminated by bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances. Unsafe food also hinders development in many low- and middle-income economies, which lose around US$95 billion in productivity associated with illness, disability, and premature death suffered by workers.
The day has been held under the theme: ‘Food Safety, everyone’s businesses peddled at calling everyone to be involved in promoting food safety to prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks. As we celebrate, it is a time to raise awareness on food safety standards and their relevance in consumer protection.
According executive director of UNBS, Ben Manyindo, Food safety is key to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that include ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, promoting good health and wellbeing, while ensuring sustainable consumption and production.
“In line with our mandate of developing and promoting standards for quality products and services, UNBS developed 3,621 standards of which 1,317 are compulsory standards designed to protect the health and safety of consumers,” he said
The food safety standards are both general and product specific. Some of the notable general food safety standards include: US 45: 2019 – General standard for food additives specifies guidelines for the use of food additives and lists safety levels suitable for use in specific food products or food product categories.
US 28:2002 – Code of practice for hygiene in the food and drink manufacturing industry specifies minimum requirements for factories and employees engaged in the manufacture, processing, packaging, and delivery of foods for human consumption.
US CAC/RCP 39:1993 – Code of hygienic practice for precooked and cooked foods in mass catering deals with the hygienic requirements for cooking raw foods and handling cooked and precooked foods intended for feeding large groups of people.
He called upon consumers, manufacturers, traders and other government agencies to use standards to improve food safety and combat outbreak of food borne diseases in Uganda and the rest of the world.