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World Food Safety Day empowers Witsies

- Wits University

Practical demonstration and tips on how to ensure food safety helps Witsies to take control of their own health.

Wits Service Department (World Food Safety Day)

7 June marked international World Food Safety Day. The day is observed annually to draw attention to and mobilise action to prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks and improve human health. The Service Department at Wits ran a week-long campaign under the global safer food, better health aimed at students and staff complete with information stalls and interactive games across various campuses.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) unsafe food contain harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemical substances causing more than 200 diseases with an estimate of 600 million people in the world falling ill after consuming contaminated food.

The Department is tasked with ensuring food safety across six Wits dining halls serving on average 2,5 million safe and healthy meals annually to students and staff at Wits the department also manage  around 37 retail outlets. The service department is using this week to promote and bring awareness on safe food handling and creating ongoing food safety education to staff and students.

The department also hosted an engagement workshop with the University’s catering service providers, retail outlet owners, City of Johannesburg environmental health department, student leaders, business partners, internal and external food auditors as well as the national department of health – food control directorate. Israel Mogomotsi, Director of the Services emphasised the importance of ensuring that food safety is secured throughout the food supply chain from harvesting to transportation, production, right to the food serving stations on campus.

Mogomotsi further urged students to practice food safety within their respective residences by keeping their environment clean, storing food at the right temperature, and ensuring correct re-heating before consuming their meals.

Practising food safety is important, follow these food safety tips to ensure food safety not only for yourself but for those around you as well. Wash your hands before and after food preparation, avoid storing food at room temperature for more than two hours, promptly cool and store leftover food inside a refrigerator and avoid storing leftover food in a refrigerator for more than three days. Visit the WHO's website to read about the five keys to safer food.