The first-ever World Food Safety Day, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2018, will be celebrated on 7 June 2019 under the theme “Food Safety to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development. Despite the advances in food items processing and production technology, providing safe food and keeping food safe is still a largely unachieved goal worldwide and a matter of great concern. A plethora of food related diseases are dominating the health problems in the developing world, besides also being a major economic threat. The World Health Organization recently reported that more than five and a half thousand children die every day from consumption of food and water contaminated with bacteria. The WHO reports that 1.3 million children under the age of five die annually from diarrheal diseases caused by unsafe food and water; yet another 2.2 million die from respiratory infections caused or exacerbated by poor sanitation.
Identification of causes of food spoilage or contamination is the key point of producing safe food. Microbiological hazards are the most important cause of unsafe food. Diarrhea is the most common symptom of food borne infections and is often followed by under-nutrition and impairment of the immune system. Pakistan is the 2nd largest food industry and has vital role in economic growth. Establishing harmonized food standard practices protect consumers and facilitate international trade. It is unfortunate that Pakistan does not have National Food Standards Council. Provincial food authorities should play their part in adoption of international best practices. In Pakistan, the safe food initiative has been pioneered by Punjab Food Authority and they have been very vigilant towards the making of better technologies and development of food security have been their utmost priority.
Developments in food and biological sciences have raised new concerns related to food production and security of food has become a serious issue for everyone. Many countries have prepared food regulations for production, packaging and labeling of ingredients used in the preparation of food items. Though different countries have different food consumption patterns, basic steps of prevention from contaminants of food are similar. Punjab Food Authority Regulations, 2018 has all the details about food handling, preparation, storage and other details about how a food manufacturing and production should be done.
The impact of WTO has led many developing countries to assess and upgrade their production capacities and safety standards. Major difficulties that most manufacturers face in meeting international safety and quality standards include weak scientific research, testing, conformity and equivalence. Several efforts in the form of seminars, workshops and communication campaigns have been launched in this regard to aware people. It is valiant initiative taken by Punjab Food Authority that should be endorsed and further actions should be taken by government to cope up with the alarming situation.
According to (WHO) by 2030, there will be no safe food if serious measurements will not be taken anytime soon. Malnutrition is an emerging issue and people do not have safe food access, the availability, security and food safety is uncertain. Pakistan in this day and age has to face a nutrition emergency, and that a roadmap for fortification needs to be made and follow-ups are required from the authorities. PFA teams work with such integrity, there will be fewer hospital visits if the focus remains on PFA’s and governments guard. The efforts of PFA must be acknowledged that the way they have worked in the last few years outweighs the efforts of the Authority since its inception. The importance of World Food Safety Day should be important for every single person alive and it should be on the notice of every person that with every drop of water an ocean is made, Overpopulation and climate change are increasing issues that need to be tackled with multi-sectional contributions. The quality and nutritious content of the food is being ensured by the Punjab Food Authority and Captain (R) Muhammad Usman Younis who is the Director General of PFA always assures the guaranteed safe places where safe food can be available. The contribution of PFA is remarkable as in the past years many adulteration mafias were arrested, sealed restaurants and factories, warnings were given to not only local brands but also to big brand mafia but after all these efforts of PFA there is yet a lot to be done in order to make Pakistan a better, safer, quality availability of eatery place. Food safety has become the focus of attention for them and different projects have been followed for the betterment of people since the past few years. In Pakistan, PFA has been playing a Key role and always emphasize on making better initiatives for people and being very much indulged in all the matters.