World Food Safety Day (WFSD) is a significant milestone achieved by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) together with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the effort to promote and raise awareness about the importance of food safety at all levels. The United Nations (UN) had designated June 7 each year as WFSD. In response to the call of the UN, a synergistic effort between Food Safety and Quality Division, Negeri Sembilan State’s Health Department (FSQD), Universiti Teknologi MARA Cawangan Negeri Sembilan (UiTMCNS) and Mydin Mohamed Holdings Berhad (MYDIN) had jointly organised the WFSD celebration on 17 July 2022.
The UN aims for WFSD to be a celebration that encourages collective actions from all parties whether government, policymakers, food businesses, suppliers, stakeholders, educational institutions as well as consumers in order to ensure the food eaten is safe and in line with the concept of ‘from farm to table’.
This matter is similarly asserted by Dato’ Dr. Harlina Bt. Abdul Rashid, the Director of Negeri Sembilan State’s Health Department, “The public or also known as consumers are the end user in the food chain, in which they have the power to ensure the food taken is clean and safe” during the WFSD 2022 event at MYDIN Mall Seremban 2.
This year, the WFSD centralises the theme “Safer Food, Better Health”. “This theme was chosen to ensure the food taken by consumers is always safe, low in contamination risks and food poisoning, thereby ensuring better health,” said Madam Jamilah Binti Salikin, the Deputy Director of Negeri Sembilan State’s Health Department, in the similar event.
The state-level WFSD celebration in Negeri Sembilan executed a few activities that can be participated by the public of all layers of age. These included food safety-related colouring contest for kids, a treasure hunt for teenagers, a cake decoration contest for students from higher institutions, and an online quiz for the public. The event also highlighted the importance of food businesses to comply with the Malaysian Food Act 1983 and related regulations by awarding 17 local food producers that are able to attain accreditation and certification under the FSQD’s Program. Besides that, awards and cash prizes were also given to the food courts that deemed to have particular qualities.
The involvement of lecturer and students of the Food Science and Technology Department, UiTMCNS Kuala Pilah Campus in co-organising the event has prevailed with positive outcomes. The students are able to boost their interventional communication, problem-solving and interpersonal skills. Not only that but students also are given opportunities to lead and contribute to decision-making in making this event feasible.
Furthermore, the event also involved exhibitions from various government agencies, including the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Negeri Sembilan, Negeri Sembilan Islamic Religious Affairs Department, Nutrition Division, Pharmacy Services Department, Oral Health Division, Public Health Division and Food Safety, and Quality Division Negeri Sembilan.