Food Safety Day 2023 stresses importance of observing "Five Keys to Food Safety"

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department kick-started its annual Food Safety Day 2023 campaign today (June 7) to raise awareness of the simple actions that the food trade and the public can take to prevent foodborne illnesses and curb the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). As food businesses fully resume operations after the pandemic, it is crucial for everyone to adopt good food hygiene practices to reduce the risk of the spread of infections along the food chain.

On World Food Safety Day today, the CFS will join Codex Alimentarius Committee China to attend the virtual event held by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the Codex Alimentarius Secretariat. To tie in with World Food Safety Day 2023, the CFS sets the "Five Keys to Food Safety" as the theme for Food Safety Day 2023. The Five Keys represent five scientifically proven measures that can significantly reduce the incidence of foodborne illnesses:

- Choose safe raw materials;
- Keep clean;
- Separate raw and cooked food;
- Cook thoroughly; and
- Keep food at safe temperatures.

"In general, the major contributing factors of food poisoning outbreaks are consumption of raw food, inadequate cooking, storage time and temperature abuse, and cross-contamination including food to food, equipment to food, and person to food," a spokesman for the CFS said. "It is therefore critical for food handlers to make consistent compliance with the Five Keys a priority to reduce the risk of food poisoning and create a safer food environment."

Separately, as AMR bacteria might be present in ready-to-eat foods, the CFS has launched a thematic webpage on AMR since 2019 to provide a one-stop area for the public and trade to access the latest publicity materials. An extended version of the Five Keys, which elaborates on how each key could address AMR in food, can be found on the thematic webpage.

To prevent foodborne diseases, the trade and the public are urged to maintain proper hand hygiene as well as observe the "Five Keys to Food Safety" while preparing and handling food. For details of the events under Food Safety Day 2023, please visit the CFS's website ( ).

Ends/Wednesday, June 7, 2023