April 7th is the World Health Organization’s annual World Health Day. With the increasing industrialized and global nature of our food preparation, it has become immensely important to maintain a high level of food safety. Join the WHO in celebrating and promoting this important day by bringing food safety awareness to your classroom and home with these tips:

1. Know Your Food: The first step in preparing, storing, and serving safe and healthy food is knowing what goes into your food and where it comes from. If you know what the ingredients are and where it was made or grown, you will be better equipped to make the right choices. Take it one step further – familiarize yourself with the dangerous microbiological and chemical agents in your region.

2. Handle Your Food, Safely: The World Health Organization has basic recommendations that can help you handle, store and prepare food safely. These might seem ‘common sense’, perhaps a cooking activity with your students could help reiterate the importance of handling food and a great way to celebrate World Health Day. The steps are: keep clean, separate raw and cooked food, cook thoroughly, cook food at safe temperatures, and use safe water and raw materials. Additionally, it’s always best to avoid overcooking when frying, grilling or baking foods as this may produce toxic chemicals

3. Teach Your Community: The WHO encourages educators and influencers to use World Health Day to promote and educate food safety practices. Our diets today involve packaged foods and other fresh foods which come from far-away places. Sharing the importance of knowing where your food comes from can help students, coworkers, and your community make smart, healthy, and nutritious choices.

4. Enjoy Your Food: Keeping food safe does not require a clinical and sterile attitude towards eating. Yes, you want to make sure you’re handling and cooking safely, but you don’t want to take the joy out of mealtime. Eating is a communal ritual to be savoured and enjoyed, providing students, coworkers, family and friends with healthy, nutrition and delicious food that will fuel and energize them all day is a gift!

For more info and tools to help plan your World Health Day visit: http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2015/en/

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