An integral aspect of food production is ensuring it is safe for human consumption. It is key to sustaining life and prioritising public health.
In the EU, robust regulatory measures and voluntary vigilance from the supply chain guarantees food safety throughout the food chain, allowing consumers to have complete confidence in what they buy. As a result, Europe’s food and drink are among the safest in the world and it is no surprise that Europe is the world’s number one food and drink exporter.
Though we as consumers might take food safety for granted, we shouldn’t. While the EU maintains some of the safest food standards, globally 600 million people fall ill and 420,000 die each year after eating contaminated food, according to the World Health Organisation.
There are numerous science-based safety measures in place to ensure food is safe for consumption. These are also adapted to meet changing consumption patterns, provide choice, and encourage healthier lifestyles and wellbeing.
Unsafe food impedes socioeconomic development and can have damaging repercussions for food security. Not only does it cause disease and malnutrition, it puts additional pressure on health care systems, and impacts the economy and supply chain.
Food safety is a joint responsibility for all the partners of the food supply chain, from farm to fork, and is dependent on strong partnerships along the agri-food chain. A wide range of regulatory and self-regulatory measures ensure all products on the market meet the highest standards. Starting with good agricultural and animal practices and continuing with the compliance with the highest food safety standards and the core long-standing practice of traceability, Europe’s agri-food chain partners have made food safety their number one priority.
 World Health Organisation (2021) https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/food-safety#:~:text=An%20estimated%20600%20million%20%E2%80%93%20almost,healthy%20life%20years%20(DALYs)