YESTERDAY, the World Food Safety Day was celebrated to draw global attention to the consequences of contaminated food and water to health, where Tanzania joining called for the collaborative stakeholders (internal and external) efforts to ensure what is consumed is safe.
This call is important for it reminds the public especially traders that whatever they sell, should be fit for human consumption (quality first) and not adulterated for the sake of minting extra coin.
This is because if any product especially foodstuffs imported are adulterated and fail to meet standards of Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) in the country, definitely we shall be feeding on harmful and substandard things, which are life detrimental.
Hence, maintaining food safety is not a one-man show and left to the government and TBS, but should involve stakeholders’ contribution covering the whole production chain.
Food safety has a critical role in ensuring that food stays safe at every stage of the food chain from production to harvest, processing, storage, distribution, all the way to preparation and consumption.
It is from this background that in 2018, the World Health Assembly through its general meeting declared June 7 as the world food safety day.
It should be known by everyone that storing and eating safe food has an immediate and long-term benefit to people, the planet, and the economy and this is what the government advocates for.
When unsafe food is consumed, there is a greater chance of developing diseases in the human body and ask yourself, who wants to be sick and spend most of his resources buying medicine and paying hospital bills, when the whole chain can be avoided?
However, celebrating the day alone will not help if the public is not educated and reminded that food can be contaminated by many things including pathogens, poisonous chemicals, hard stones, bones and other garbage and how to keep them off.
It is for this reason that the government should be applauded for undertaking serious food safety campaigns through the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), simply to protect the citizens from consuming unsafe food.
It is also good that TBS Senior Food Safety Officer, Immaculate Justine has every time said that every person in the food production chain has a fundamental role to play.
According to her: “Business people should know that when food items expire, they must be removed from the shelves and the same applies to consumers, who must check the expiry date and other information on the products, before making a decision to buy them.”