Topic 1 General Food Safety Definition

Food safety is the totality of criteria which must be fulfilled, and actions to be carried out at every stage of food production and circulation to guarantee the individuals’ health. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines Food Safety as “ensuring that food does not cause harm to the consumer when prepared and/or eaten as intended”. Access to sufficient, safe, and nutritionally adequate food is essential for people’s lives and good health. (Postupolski, 2020). Food safety refers to handling, preparing, and storing food as to reduce the risk of individuals becoming sick from foodborne illnesses. Its main objective is to ensure that food is safe for human consumption under appropriate conditions (Urbaniec, 2020). It is also a global concern that covers a variety of different areas of everyday life (AIFS, 2021).

The World Health Organization (2022) highlights that the food safety, nutrition, and food security are closely linked. Unsafe food creates a vicious circle of disease and malnutrition, particularly affecting the most vulnerable groups (infants, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with underlying conditions). In addition to contributing to food and nutrition security, a safe food supply also supports national economies, trade, and tourism, stimulating sustainable development. The globalisation of food trade, a growing world population, climate change and rapidly changing food systems have an impact on food safety. WHO aims to enhance the capacity to prevent, detect and respond to public health threats associated with unsafe food both in national and global levels (ibid.).

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