The availability of safe and healthy food for all can be sustained into the future by embracing digital innovations and advancing scientific solutions, experts have said.
The remarks were made as Uganda joined the world to celebrate World Food Safety Day under the theme; “Safe food now for a healthy tomorrow.”
Experts said that honouring traditional knowledge that has stood the test of time is equally important as far as sustaining healthy food is concerned.
While Covid-19 has not been transmitted by food, the executive director, Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), David Livingstone Ebiru told the media that pandemic has sharpened the focus on food safety-related issues, such as hygiene, antimicrobial resistance, zoonotic diseases, climate change, food fraud and the potential benefits of digitalising food systems
“It has also identified weaknesses or vulnerabilities in food production and control systems.The government has been steadfast in minimising disruptions in the food supply chains as consumers must have reliable access to safe food,”he said.
He said that food supply chains involve several people including producers, processors, transporters, distributors, retailers among others.
He said that the available Uganda standards for food products have been key in our imports inspection programmes hence ensuring that products available for consumption in the market are safe.
In addition, he said the market surveillance activities which are undertaken countrywide are important to maintaining sanity.
Dr. Henry Mwebesa, the director general of Health Services in the ministry of Health said everyone has the right to safe, nutritious and sufficient food.
“This right is enshrined in the Constitution of Uganda. However, almost one in ten people in the world fall ill after eating contaminated food.When food is not safe, children cannot learn, adults cannot work and human development cannot take place,”he said
He said safe food is critical to promoting health and ending hunger, two of the primary goals of the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals.