Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), on the occasion of World Food Safety Day celebrated annually on June 7, emphasized the significance of food safety standards to protect public health.

With population growth, urban expansion, land pressure, and climate change, ensuring the safety of our food is crucial in today's rapidly changing world, FAO Indonesia noted in a press statement on Tuesday.

Hence, on the occasion of World Food Safety Day, the FAO urged policymakers, practitioners, and investors to prioritize sustainable production and consumption of safe food for healthy lives, it said.

"By upholding high food safety standards, we can save lives and ensure a safer food supply chain," FAO representative in Indonesia and Timor-Leste Rajendra Aryal stated while highlighting the importance of food safety.

This year’s World Food Safety Day theme, "Food Standards Save Lives,” aims to raise awareness of the critical role of food standards in protecting consumers and promoting equitable food trade.

"Promoting food safety makes a difference. Through dedicated efforts from governments, policymakers, and other stakeholders, including the private sector, we are witnessing an increase in awareness about food safety, which is vital for public health and well-being," Aryal affirmed.

Alarming statistics reveal that one in 10 people worldwide falls ill from contaminated food each year, thereby affecting every nation. Over 200 diseases are linked to consuming contaminated food, according to the FAO.

"We must work together to protect vulnerable populations, especially children under five years old, who bear a disproportionate burden of foodborne illnesses," Aryal emphasized while underlying the fact that children are among the first ones to contract foodborne diseases.

The FAO collaborates closely with the Indonesian government and other partners to strengthen food safety control systems in the country.

Through technical assistance, capacity building, and policy guidance, the FAO aims to enhance food safety practices and standards throughout the entire food value chain, FAO Indonesia said in its statement.

FAO's partnership with Indonesia and other nations is crucial for promoting food safety and ensuring public health.

"No matter who you are or what you do, you play an important role in making sure food is safe to eat. Let us commit to upholding high food safety standards and working collaboratively to safeguard public health and well-being," Aryal stressed.

The FAO also calls on individuals, businesses, and governments to recognize their responsibility in ensuring food safety.

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Reporter: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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