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World Food Safety Day 2024: Prepare For The Unexpected

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) come together each year to host World Food Safety Day. As the importance of food safety continues to grow, this day plays a significant role in highlighting food safety with the aim to inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks.

World Food Safety Day 2024
Why is food safety important?

Food safety is vital as it protects public health as foodborne illnesses can cause severe health issues and even death. It ensures economic stability by reducing healthcare costs and minimises food recalls avoiding food waste. In addition to this, complying with food safety standards is necessary for legal and market supply reasons. This helps provide consumer confidence in food supply chains helping businesses in the food sector grow. Overall, food safety is essential for a healthy world, a stable economy, and a trust worthy food industry.

What is this year’s World Food Safety theme?

This year’s World Food Safety Day theme, “Prepare for the Unexpected,” emphasises the importance of a robust world food safety culture. Whilst all individuals play a crucial role in maintaining food safety, unexpected events can compromise it at any moment. These incidents can range from minor events like voluntary recalls of contaminated products by manufacturers, to major crises such as outbreaks linked to products or disruptions caused by natural disasters. 

With this in mind, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Health Organisation (WHO) are prompting us to consider whether we are prepared for unexpected food safety events and what procedures we have in place to minimise there impact.

World Food Safety Day

At Blackdown Growers, we take food safety seriously across all areas of the business from our packhouses, to our fields and even within the offices. Ensuring a strong food safety culture throughout the whole business is key to preparing for the unexpected. We consistently focus on various areas to prevent unexpected issues from happening and to ensure the highest standards of food safety.


Effective communication is fundamental in ensuring the correct food safety standards within a business. We provide clear training during new starter inductions and for updated procedures or new equipment ensuring all staff clearly understand the correct practices needed. Having regular meetings reinforces these standards, to share important updates and to address any internal concerns swiftly. Alongside this, our Technical team keep their line of communication open with staff members and encourage them to ask questions, this means any potential issues can be identified quickly before escalating.

Food Safety With The Technical Team
Food Safety Management Plans

A food safety plan such as HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) in crucial for ensuring food safety at Blackdown Growers. By following HACCP 7 principles throughout our food production and packing process means we are constantly prepared for unexpected events. We are always identifying, evaluating and controlling any potential hazards across our farms.

Additionally, following daily compliance with standard food safety legal practices help us meet the mandatory requirements to maintain high food safety standards.  By ensuring these principles are being used throughout our everyday operations, we can ensure a robust food safety culture that delivers safe, high quality produce from our fields to consumer forks.

Food Safety Management
Regular Testing

Performing regular testing on both our products and water samples, plus non-food contact areas ensures our sites are free from harmful bacteria and viruses. By monitoring these areas, we can detect potential contamination areas before it spreads any further and it also guarantees our salad leaves and herbs are safe for consumptions.

This regular testing protects our consumers from foodborne diseases, but also means we uphold the highest standard of food safety. Through vigilant testing, we can confidently assure our customers that our products are safe to be used.

World Food Safety Day

Preparedness is crucial to our food safety, as it enables us to anticipate potential risks before they escalate into serious issues. Climate change, with its impact on weather patterns, introduces new challenges for us and the agricultural sector. High levels of rain brings flooding washing out our crops, whilst too much sunshine causes draughts preventing crops from growing. Proactive planning is essential in making sure situations like climate change avoid impacting our own supply chain. We work closely with our partners abroad to ensure a steady supply of produce incase our British produce falls short and instead of polytunnels we’ve invested in innovative glasshouses providing a sturdier structure around our crops.

Alongside this, our teams stay updated on global food incidents, learning valuable lessons to refine our practices and prevent similar events from happening within the business. We also have our own response plans enabling use to act swiftly during any food safety incidents.

Innovative Glasshouses

Food safety is not just requirement, it’s a fundamental responsibility. Food safety is everyone’s business, and its events like World Food Safety Day that make us stop and reflect on what we are doing to prevent food safety incidents from happening as well as the importance of global food safety.

Read more information on World Food Safety Day 2024: prepare for the unexpected here. 

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