Food safety saves lives

07 June 2023

It’s world food safety day. In the UK we take for granted our food is safe. Sadly, this is not the case around the world; on average 1 in 10 people become ill due to contaminated food.



This year’s slogan ‘food safety is everyone’s business’ isn’t just a pithy catchphrase. Having a safe, secure food supply chain does not happen by accident, UK businesses work hard at it every day.

Food safety begins with good agricultural practices that prioritise hygiene as well as animal health and wellbeing. Every step of the journey your food makes – from farm to fork – is underpinned by safety practices based on evidence.

Whether that’s processing ingredients to prevent microbial growth, product storage temperatures or calculating a use-by-date, a sound science base helps to minimise risk and protects consumers.

The importance of food safety cannot be overstated. Through collaboration and fostering a strong food safety culture along international supply chains, safe and high-quality food can become the norm for everyone. Food safety should never be taken for granted: food safety saves lives.

What is the FDF’s role?

The FDF works with partners across the food supply chain, including the Food Standards Agency (FSA), to facilitate information flow.

If there is an issue in our food supply it is important this is identified quickly, any underpinning problems are resolved and if there is unsafe food it is quickly removed from sale. Sharing knowledge also helps establish robust systems and enables effective horizon scanning to identify where there are risks in our food system.

Should we only focus on the UK food system?

The UK should not be afraid to link trade privileges with high standards in the way it does for labour and environmental commitments, through the inclusion of a ‘trade and food standards’ chapter in free trade agreements.

This pioneering approach could link import privileges with commitments to enforce high production standards – something we explore further in our trade and investment strategy.

Come to our Food Safety Event on 14 June

It is important for business to cultivate a strong food safety culture. To support this, we will be hosting a networking event for companies to hear from the FSA’s Chief Scientific Adviser and to learn more about how to implement a food safety culture.

Kate Halliwell is the chief scientific officer at the Food and Drink Federation

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