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World Food Safety Day Spotlights Global Health Threat

New Jersey

Imagine a global sickness that spreads faster than HIV and causes nearly as many deaths as malaria.

Foodborne illness impacts global health, with over 200 diseases that have a direct link to eating food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances.

Each year, 600 million people worldwide get sick from foodborne infections leading to 420,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

Here is another fact: foodborne illness is preventable.

Four years ago, the United Nations designated June 7 as World Food Safety Day to encourage nations to spread awareness on ways to combat foodborne illness. This year’s theme is “Safer Food, Better Health.” That theme is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mission 24/7.

At USDA, we work to ensure that everyone’s food is safe. Safer food means healthier people.

While USDA ensures that meat, poultry and egg products are safe, we also provide information on how to handle food safely to prevent foodborne illness. You can reach USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday via:

You can also practice food safety year-round with these tools: