World Food and Safety Day - June 7
‘If it is not safe, it is not food.’
On June 7th, 2019, Food Safety And Standard Authority Of India commemorated first-ever World Food Safety Day at FSSAI headquarters, New Delhi. This day was kicked off to recognize the remarkable efforts of States, various food businesses and individuals in promoting food safety. To create a much-needed awareness on how everyone needs to consume food which has to be safe as every year, approximately 600 million cases of foodborne diseases occur - food safety day was celebrated. No doubt, unsafe food is a threat to the entire mankind - affecting both - the vulnerable and the privileged people, men, women and their children and migrants or residents - EVERYONE! And not just that but lack of food safety disturbs even the global trade-related to various food items which will lead to a humongous wastage of food items eventually which can’t be tolerated by a nation where people die out of hunger. Hence, a day like this was much-needed, indeed!
The first-ever theme to commemorate this day was "Food Safety, Everyone's Business" which urged everyone to eat right, follow safe food practices and to do their bit to contribute towards food security, human health, economic prosperity and sustainable development. It is not just the sole responsibility of a single party rather it’s a shared responsibility between governments, producers and consumers. From the beginning days of production to harvest, processing, storage, distribution, all the way to preparation and consumption, every level needs to maintain appropriate food standards to make it fit for consuming.
In order to ensure sustainability following food safety goals were set:
●“There is no food security without food safety. Ending hunger is about all people having access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round.”
●“Food safety has a direct impact on people’s health and nutritional intake. Foodborne diseases are preventable.”
●“When countries strengthen their regulatory, scientific and technological capacities to ensure that food is safe and of the expected quality throughout the food chain, they move towards more sustainable patterns of food production and consumption.”
●“A globalized world with annual food exports currently in excess of USD 1.6 trillion and complex food systems demands international cooperation across sectors to ensure food is safe. Food safety is a shared responsibility among governments, food industries, producers and consumers.”
Now that we have gained much-needed knowledge about this day, let’s start doing our bit. Let’s discuss in detail a few ways to keep our food safe at home to say goodbye to all the food-borne diseases.
1. Maintain Hygiene Before Starting to Cook
Wash your hands and kitchen slab before you start cooking. Also, make sure to clean all the veggies and fruits are washed properly to prevent any kind of bacterial growth.
2. Disinfect Using Some Home Remedies
Regardless of whether you have created a mess, make sure to clean the kitchen surface with one teaspoon of liquid, unscented bleach to one quarter of water. This will not just make your kitchen slabs clean and hygienic, but also will act as a wonderful gift for mom. (Because every mother is a bit of a cleanliness freak so they like to keep their kitchens all shiny and hygienic.)
3. Prevent Cross-Contamination
Make sure to store vegetables and poultry items separately to prevent any kind of cross-contamination. Even after meat, poultry, seafood and eggs have been cooked, they need to be stored separately.
4. Keep The Temperature In Mind While Cooking
It is said that bacterias that cause food poisoning to multiply quickest between 40˚ and 140˚ F. Hence, try to avoid this temperature range while cooking.
5. Have Food Hot
Make sure to microwave your food or heat it up a bit before you have it. Don’t just have it refrigerated or long after it has cooled down. It is said not to be safe.
6. Refrigerate Perishable Food Items
Bacterias which cause food-related illnesses are said to multiply in perishable foods within 2 hours unless you refrigerate them. Hence, refrigerate!
7. Never Thaw Food Items, Just Like That
Not many people know, but thawing foods tend to encourage bacterial growth rapidly at room temperatures. So, it is advisable never thaw foods on the counter and do not let the bacteria take over your nutritious food.
8. Clean The Appliances After Using Them
After having prepared your meal, make sure not just to clean up your utensils but also the appliances used in the process of cooking. Clean them inside out with a kitchen towel or a clean piece of cloth while paying attention to the buttons and handles.
9. Rinse The Veggies Before And After Peeling
The germs and other microbes might get transferred from the outer layer to the inner layer of the veggies. Hence, make sure to rinse the veggies thoroughly in running water before and after peeling the outer layer off.
10. Don’t Eat Stale Refrigerated Food
First of all, it is stale then it is refrigerated which means it totally lacks nutritional value and has a higher chance of initiating bacterial growth. Hence, discard all the cooked leftovers refrigerated after 3-4 days.
So, these were a few ways to keep your food safe at home. Practice and preach these to others whom you care about. Eat fresh! Stay Safe! Stay Healthy!