Sunday, July 14, 2024

Shafaq Cooking Oil Leads Food Safety Awareness on World Food Safety Day

As the world observed World Food Safety Day on June 7, 2024, the theme set by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was “Prepare for the Unexpected.” This theme emphasized the critical importance of food safety in the face of unforeseen challenges and emergencies. The FAO prioritized food safety as it was essential for ensuring public health and preventing foodborne diseases, which have a significant impact on global health and economies.

The FAO stressed that food safety is a vital component of health security. The organization actively promoted food safety through various initiatives aimed at preventing, detecting, and managing foodborne risks. These initiatives included establishing international food safety standards, providing technical support to countries, and raising public awareness about the importance of food safety.

Given the alarming prevalence of foodborne diseases, the FAO’s efforts were particularly crucial. Globally, approximately 1 in 10 people fell ill from consuming contaminated food each year. Vulnerable populations, especially children under the age of 5, bore a disproportionate burden of these diseases, accounting for 40% of foodborne illnesses. According to a WHO report, unsafe food resulted in 420,000 deaths annually. The incidence of foodborne illnesses tended to peak during the summer months due to warmer temperatures that facilitated the growth of harmful pathogens.

Shafaq’s Food Safety Initiatives

In alignment with the Food and Agriculture Organization’s objectives, Shafaq Cooking Oil launched its own food safety campaign, titled “Shafaq’s Promise of Food Safety.” This campaign was dedicated to spreading awareness about foodborne diseases, food safety, and hygiene practices. Shafaq’s commitment to food safety was evident in its stringent manufacturing processes, which met WHO standards. The company ensured that its products were safe and of the highest quality, thus protecting consumers from the risks associated with contaminated food.

Shafaq not only maintained high standards within its manufacturing processes but also engaged in innovative ways to spread food safety awareness. The company launched a digital campaign and other initiatives involving their brand ambassadors in supermarkets. These ambassadors distributed informative flyers to enhance the campaign’s reach in supermarkets. The flyers highlighted the importance of food safety and provided practical steps to ensure it at home, emphasizing that “Food Safety is Everyone’s Business at Home.”

National Dialogue on World Food Safety Day

As part of its campaign, Shafaq sponsored the “National Dialogue on World Food Safety Day” event in Islamabad on June 7, 2024. This event served as a platform to engage Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), A&Z Agro Industries, Shafaq Cooking Oil Represented by Saqib Muhammad Naeem (Head of Marketing), and Farooq Shah (Plant Manager), and other Food Authorities stake holders in meaningful discussions about the importance of safe food practices.

The sponsorship of this event by Shafaq Cooking Oil & Banaspati underscored the company’s dedication to food safety and its proactive approach in supporting initiatives that aligned with its mission. This National Dialogue served as a platform for discussing food safety challenges, sharing best practices, and exploring innovative solutions to ensure safe food for all.

Promoting Food Safety at Home

Shafaq’s campaign also focused on educating consumers about how to achieve food safety at home. The distributed flyers and digital content provided valuable tips:

  • Keep Clean: Wash hands with soap and clean water before handling food and frequently during food preparation.
  • Separate Raw and Cooked: Prevent cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meat and ready-to-eat foods.
  • Cook Thoroughly: Ensure that the core temperature of cooked foods, especially meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood, reached at least 70°C.
  • Keep Food at Safe Temperatures: Store food below 5°C and above 60°C to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Avoid Confusion and Ensure Freshness: Label and date stored ingredients and prepared foods.
  • Use Clean Utensils: Disinfect surfaces and utensils regularly. A sanitizing solution could be made with 5 ml of household bleach in 750 ml of water, or boiling water could be used to sanitize utensils.

Through these comprehensive efforts, Shafaq played a vital role in advancing food safety in Pakistan and beyond. By supporting FAO’s mission and promoting awareness, Shafaq contributed to a broader movement aimed at reducing the incidence of foodborne diseases and enhancing the overall safety of the global food supply. As the world celebrated World Food Safety Day, Shafaq’s initiatives highlighted the importance of being prepared for the unexpected and ensuring that food safety remained a top priority for all.

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