Eating food which is safe, healthy and nutritious is vitally important for the health and wellbeing of children and young people. Monday 7 June 2021 is World Food Safety Day which is organised by The World Health Organisation(WHO) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. This year’s theme which is safe food today for a healthy tomorrow, stresses the importance of the fact that producing and eating food that is safe has great long-term benefits for people, the planet, and our economy.
Commenting on World Food Safety Day, Helen Forrest, Chief Executive at Children’s Health Scotland said: “Children and young people need safe, healthy, and nutritious food to help their bodies and minds grow. It is important that everyone is aware of food safety, so we fully support World Food Safety Day and wholeheartedly encourage the production and eating of food that is safe for everyone.”
World Food Safety Day encourages the eating of fruit and vegetables that are safe. Produce that is eaten raw, and especially if not peeled or washed in clean water, can transmit pathogens and dangerous chemicals. Microbiological and chemical contamination is hard to detect without testing, so it usually goes unnoticed until the produce has been eaten. It is therefore really important to wash all fruit and vegetables in clean, fresh water before eating.
For children and young people, safe and healthy food will result in better health and improve their potential to grow and learn. For the planet, producing safe food will mean that less food is lost or wasted because it is not safe for human consumption. For the economy, increasing food safety will mean that there are fewer medical expenses associated with foodborne illnesses.
To find resources for children on food safety and healthy eating, visit the Food Standards Scotland website.
At Children’s Health Scotland, we recognise that no child should go hungry (UNCRC Article 24). We believe that every child should be provided with healthy food options at home, at school and in hospital, ensuring the food is suitable for their age and respects their culture. This message is so important that it is one of six points on our manifesto. To read out full manifesto, click here.