News Release

World Food Safety Day: 600 million reasons for good kitchen hygiene

Kitchen hygiene tips from the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) to protect against foodborne infections.

Business Announcement

BfR Federal Institute for Risk Assessment

About 1.6 million people worldwide fall ill every day because of unsafe food. This is more than 600 million each year. In Germany,  more than 100,000 cases of illnesses are reported each year that can be traced back to foodborne infections; however, the number of unreported cases is much higher.  Since 2018, World Food Safety Day has been drawing attention to the importance of this issue. The BfR is also participating again this year and providing information on its social media channels under the themed week “Food Safety at Home” about consumer-related topics such as kitchen hygiene, cross-contamination or what to look out for when eating certain raw foods. “Foodborne infections caused by bacteria, viruses or germs are a permanent challenge. This also represents a serious current health issue in every household," says Professor Dr Dr Andreas Hensel, President of the BfR. "This makes it all the more important for us to inform the population about the effects of poor food safety - adhering to a few rules of conduct can prevent illness and save lives.”

Most foodborne diseases reported in Germany are caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites. Therefore, handling food properly is crucial to avoid foodborne infections. In most cases, the illnesses are accompanied by symptoms such as stomach cramps, diarrhoea or vomiting and subside after a few days. However, in risk groups such as infants, pregnant women, older people or people with weakened immune systems, foodborne infections can be severe, cause permanent damage and, in some cases, even be fatal. Therefore, it is important to follow hygiene rules when storing and preparing food to avoid contaminating food with pathogens in your own kitchen.

As part of the “Food Safety at Home” themed week, the BfR will be providing information via its social media channels between 5 – 9 June 2023 on the correct handling of raw food, which hygiene rules to observe in the kitchen, what cross-contamination is, how it occurs and how to avoid it. You can view the content on our Instagram page ( or Twitter channel (

You can also find extensive information on the topic of food safety on the BfR website:

Consumer advice: protection against food infections in private households:

Consumer tips on food hygiene, cleaning and disinfection:

Frequently asked questions on refrigerating foods in private households:

 The theme of this year’s World Food Safety Day is “food standards save lives”. Food standards are at the heart of food safety and aim to protect every one of us. They set criteria that food must meet to be safe for consumers. This year’s theme aims to illustrate the important role of established food safety practices and standards that ensure food safety and quality.

Find out more about World Food Safety Day and this year’s theme on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website:

A Guide to World Food Safety Day 2023:

Food safety is everyone’s business at home:

 About World Food Safety Day

The United Nations launched World Food Safety Day in 2018 to raise awareness of the importance of safe food. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in ten people around the world falls ill with foodborne diseases every year, which in the worst cases are fatal – all countries are affected.

Find out more about “World Food Safety Day” here:

About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). The BfR advises the Federal Government and the German federal states (“Laender”) on questions of food, chemicals, and product safety. The BfR conducts independent research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

This text version is a translation of the original German text, which is the only legally binding version.

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