World Food Safety Day, 7 June 2019

11 June 2019

Article: 53/2305

World Food Safety Day has been celebrated for the first time, under the theme ‘Food safety – everyone’s business’. 

In a review published by the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated over 23 million people per year fall sick from eating contaminated food, with around 4,700 deaths annually. The review also identifies a variety of bacteria, viruses, parasites and chemical hazards with potentially serious consequences for human health, the economy and environment.

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) highlights food poisoning risk from undercooked chicken. Raw chicken can be contaminated with Campylobacter, which is responsible for an estimated 54,000 cases of illness each year in Scotland. Previous studies have suggested that laboratory reports underestimate the true incidence by a factor of around nine, and there are around 6,000 positive laboratory results in Scotland each year. 

As the summer barbecue season begins, FSS figures show that 14% of people in Scotland would eat chicken that was pink or had red juices, despite this putting them at high risk of food poisoning from Campylobacter which can be killed by thorough cooking.

FSS provide advice on how to store, prepare and cook food safely.

Sources: WHO Europe, 5 June 2019 and FSS, 7 June 2019