World Food Safety Day | Five Keys to Safer Food

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How do you practice food safety? In recognition of the UN’s “World Food Safety Day”, Joshua Leo and Liz Waid discover how to avoid disease from food with the World Health Organization’s “Five Keys to Safer Food.”

Voice 1 

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Liz Waid.

Voice 2 

And I’m Joshua Leo. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.
Voice 1 

It has been a long day. You have worked very hard. Now, you are sitting down to your dinner. Tonight you will have chicken and rice. You eat the good tasting meal, and even eat a little more. You go to bed happy. But a few hours later, you do not feel so well. In fact, you run to the toilet quickly. You vomit – your food is coming back up your throat! Your stomach feels terrible and it is making loud sounds. But that is not all! You have a fever. And your head and whole body also hurt. What happened to you? Could it have been your good-tasting meal? Today’s Spotlight is on food safety.

Voice 2 

Food safety is a problem in all places around the world – in developing and developed countries. The WHO says that millions of people get sick every year from unsafe food. More than 2,000,000 of these people will even die from these sicknesses.

Image by Michelle Maria from Pixabay
Voice 1 

A few years ago the WHO released a set of educational materials about food safety. They were five simple rules for preparing food in a safe way. They call these rules the “Five Keys to Safer Food”. People usually use keys to open things that are locked, like doors. But these keys aim to open the way to safer food.

Voice 2 

People in different areas of the world prepare foods in different ways. People eat different kinds of foods. Some people do not have enough money to buy refrigerators, cleaning materials or good cooking equipment. Some may not be able to get clean water. But the WHO believes that these five keys can still help to inform all people about disease that can come from food or water. Most of us prepare food at some time, and all of us eat it!

Voice 1 

So what are these five simple rules? Here are the WHO’s five keys to safer food.

Voice 3 

Key 1: Keep clean.

Voice 2 

The first key tells about the importance of washing.  People should wash their hands often – before touching food, while they are preparing food, and any time after they go to the toilet. People should wash all surfaces and equipment used for preparing food. People should also protect cooking areas and food from insects and animals.

Voice 1 

Keeping everything clean helps people to avoid micro-organisms. Micro-organisms are very small living cells such as bacteria or viruses. They are so small that we cannot see them. But some of them can cause disease.  Many dangerous micro-organisms live in soil, unclean water, animals and people. They can also live where we make food, especially if the places are dirty. Micro-organisms can move from one surface to another surface very quickly and easily.  Even a small touch can pass dangerous micro-organisms onto our hands, clothes, cooking tools, and cutting surfaces.  But if we keep everything clean, the micro-organisms do not get a chance to spread.

Image by Christoph Schütz from Pixabay
Voice 3 

Key 2: Separate raw and cooked.

Voice 2 

People should separate raw, or uncooked food from foods that are already cooked and foods that will not be cooked. People should store raw meat, chicken, and fish in containers, or in separate areas. Raw foods should not touch prepared foods. The WHO also says that people should use separate equipment and tools for touching and preparing raw foods. For example, if a person uses a knife to cut raw chicken, he should not use that same knife to cut a cooked piece of chicken. He should wash the knife, or use a different knife.

Voice 1 

Raw meat and the liquid inside it often hide dangerous micro-organisms.  So if raw meat touches other food the micro-organisms could spread.

Voice 3 

Key 3: Cook completely.

Voice 2 

People should cook eggs and meat, like birds, seafood, and animals, especially carefully.  These foods may carry more micro-organisms than other foods. When meat is fully cooked the liquid from it will be clear, and not pink or red. People should boil food with a lot of liquid, such as soup, for at least a minute. That way, the pieces of meat and vegetables in the soup will be cooked completely. It is also important that people re-heat cooked food completely.

Voice 1 

When food is completely cooked, the micro-organisms inside it die. Then the food is safe to eat. The WHO says that heating foods to 70 degrees Celsius makes sure they are safe. Thick pieces of meat like whole birds, must reach 70 degrees even in the middle. A thermometer can be very helpful to make sure that the food reaches the correct cooking temperature.

Voice 3 

Key 4: Keep food at safe temperatures.

Voice 2 

People should eat cooked food immediately, while it is still hot. It should be above 60 degrees Celsius if possible. And food should not stay out for longer than two hours. When people are finished eating, they should keep the food that is left cold. The food should be stored in a refrigerator, or electric cooling device, below five degrees Celsius. And people must not store food for too long in the refrigerator.

Voice 1 

At room temperature, about 20 degrees, the amount of micro-organisms can increase very quickly.  But temperatures above 60 degrees or below five degrees control the growth of micro-organisms. They cannot grow as quickly in a very hot or very cold environment.

Voice 3 

Key five: Use safe water and safe raw materials.

Voice 2 

People should use safe water or treat the water to make it safe. People should choose fresh foods. They should wash any fruits or vegetables in clean water, especially if they do not plan to cook them. The WHO says that people should choose foods that have gone through special processes to make them safe.  For example, pasteurization is a process that destroys many harmful micro-organisms. Milk is often pasteurized to make it safe.

Voice 1 

Many dangerous micro-organisms and chemicals can live in places that people may not expect. Water and ice can look clean, but may still contain dangerous micro-organisms.  Damaged or old food may develop harmful chemicals called toxins as it gets older. In some cases, these toxins can cause death. This key also says that washing and taking the skin off vegetables can also reduce the risk of harm from micro-organisms.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay
Voice 2 

These are the WHO’s five keys to safer food. Today, these materials are translated into 68 languages. Programs that encourage health use the five keys in over 100 different countries. People can use these materials to train anyone who prepares food.

Voice 1 

There is much more information about food safety on the WHO’s website. You can find a link to the WHO’s Five keys to safer food on the script page of this program. You can also see if the materials have been translated into your language!

Voice 2 

The writer and producer of this program was Liz Waid. You can find our programs on the Internet at This program is called ‘Five Keys to Safer Food’. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

See the WHO’s Five Keys information.


Do you worry about getting sick from your food? Have you ever had food poisoning? Write your answer in the comments below.

Join the discussion

  • Yes, I worry about getting sick from food because today people use many chemical kinds for planting. The natural food is good for healthy but it is small quatity and very expensive. Many people don’t enough have money for buying it.I have had food poisoning before. I felt tired and took a long time for treatment. My answer is above. Many thanks Team Spotlight.

  • Without doubt it is worrisome, I have not had food poisoning, I hope have not it.
    I’m Wilson, I just wish the best for me, I’m learning English, I hope to learn with you, thanks

  • A big problem that have many people is to drink milk without boiling, because they say that it is more delitious (from the cow to our mouth). Sometimes, when I was a child, I drank milk by that way and I had problems with my stomach. Therefore it is necessary to boil the milk before drinking or to buy pasteurized milk.

  • From :
    To : spotlight program
    Subjet : to answer to the questions below
    Date : Sunday 12, July 2020
    Location : São Paulo city – Brasil

    Question 1 – Do worry about getting sick from your food?
    Answer 1 – Yes, I do.
    Question 2 – Have you ever had food poisoning?
    Question 2 – No, not at home. But at a small restaurant next to the hospital where I work for I got sick from my stomach, after I ate a snack. I felt a strong stomachache and after that I vomited the whole food that I had been eating.
    Thank you so much about your great article, dear Liz Waid and Joshua Leo.
    Severino Ramos from Brasil

  • yes because a lot of people in the world die every year and many people poisoning due the bad foods they eat.


  • Yes, I worry about food previously،Now self-awareness has change.

    Now the situation has changed, I became conscious and more understanding than before
    The solution is I cook, mostly organic

  • Yes I do because the most dangers sickness from the food , anyone should take care from their foods to avoid harmful bacteria’s .
    Yes, last year i ate a slice of chicken it was liquid in the middle and it’s uncooked carefully , after four hours or more I felt pain on my stomach it was hurt immediately I went to the hospital and the doctor told me it is poisoning .

  • Hello!!
    First, let me send my thankful to Spotlight program, Liz Waid and Joshua Leo, who give me the informations for free.
    Now a day, bad food is everywhere in Vietnam country. I am a worker, everyday I have to eat the meals call “industrial food”.
    I am really worry for my health and other workers because everyday, we have to use the meals what are not fresh raws, but call freeze food.
    People use freeze foods like chicken, animals meat and even fish instead of fresh food.
    Sometime, our meal has a bad smell. But cause we are too tired and only has 1 hour for lunch and rest between working time. So we have to fastly use this bad energy to charge to our body for next working time.
    We all know this problem, but we have to bear day by day without improvement.
    Thanks again, please help to correct my grammar!

    • Ta grammaire est parfaite, il n’y a pas de faute. tu écris très bien en français. Je regarde postlight pour apprendre l’anglais, je suis française et je fais attention à la sécurité de la nourriture.
      J’espère que tu pourras manger de la bonne nourriture à l’avenir parce que tu travailles beaucoup.

  • Yes . When I was 10 i ate a hamburger and go to sleep but fter a few hour i woke up beacuse i felt pain on ny stomch

  • Yes, of course I worry about any food don’t safety for eatting. I think it’s big problem in the world.

  • Yes, I worry about it but when I follow these methods (Five keys to safer food) when I eat I don’t worry about it.

  • Yes, I am worried about getting sick from food.
    I have not had any food poisoning, but if on some occasions when I have eaten outside the home, especially at fast food stands, I have had stomach pains caused by eating poorly prepared food.

  • The natural food si food for he algo but it US smil mony Oracle dontenough I have has food poisoning besote. Yes lastima Gear and chichén it wars líquida in the middle

  • I’m little worry about get sick from my food, because I prefer the safe food so much like vegetables , fruits, milk, honey, rice and chicken, also I’m washing everything after i use it, and today i will inshallah following the 5 keys on the WHO.
    Thank you…

  • Getting sick from eating food is a terrible experience. I feel worried a lot because the pain in the stomach is awful. I ‘ve experienced the food poisoning once, and I still remember that pain. The food posoining often comes from eating unclean or old foods. I only ate a small piece of jackfruit but after eating it, I felt sick quickly. I vomitted a lot and went to the toilet many times, I felt exhausted, so I had to go to the hospital at midnight. The doctor gave me medicine and I felt much better. I think we should choose safe foods to eat to avoid food poisoning.

  • Hello everyone! All my life I never thought that some diseases could invite me. But once ,when I was going to my work my stomach is very sick. I had been to my brother before that and we were drinking alcohol . This was an awful pain. I didn’t know what to do. It seems to me I am dying. My sister was running up to me and asked what happened? I couldn’t answer to her. Then she was calling to the local ambulance. I thank for the crew of the ambulance who has drove very quickly. Otherwise, I could die. I have lied at the hospital for one month. I had cut my ulcer out. I had the hardest surgery in my life. Fortunately,All have been okey. But I always remember that horrible day, when I was getting pain what I wouldn’t wish to an enemy.

  • yes I do. actually I always prepare food at home. I feel worry about keep food wrong way. I think food poisoning is very terrible. I was nausea and vomit a lot. I feel pain belly. I admitted hospital that treat and follow up. I think we should knowledge when we put food in fridge. Thank you

  • In my country the food obtain a big amount of chemicals it’s so dangerous and it’s the main reason for Cancer.

  • Yes, I’m really worried about getting sick from my food.
    In the past, I ate something and I have ever had food poisoning.

  • Actually when I eat from home I don’t worry about getting sick because I knew that my mom care about cleaning and she is very careful and clean. But sometimes when I eat from outside I become a little bit scary from getting sick because I don’t trust restaurants. Alhamdulillah I haven’t ever get poisoning.

  • Yes, I really worried about getting sick from my food. Sometimes, when I travel to new places and eat some street foods I usually have food poisoning. I’m so scared when I get it. Because food poisoning is so dangerous, If you don’t know how to handle ontime you can even die. 
    Last month, I went on a trip with my family. But unfortunately, I got food poisoning, and my mom gave me some medicine. After that I feel better but I don’t have energy and strength to continue the trip. I had to stay in the hotel and miss many interesting and beautiful places here. I’m so sad.
    I think that, when you come to a new place, you should avoid eating many strange things and always bring medicine by yourself. 

  • 1- Yes, I’m very worry because my food , this mean I’m eat it every day and also it is cause pain in my stomach and whole my body and cause heart diseases .
    few meat and eat fruits and vegetables this foods is important and helpful for our health and our body and also protect me from poisoning and diseases.
    2- No, I didn’t ever had

  • I’m very worried about my health. espeacially, I sometimes have stomach ache so I’m afaird that I have a stomachache from eating something unsafe. I always choose safet foods to eat. Once, I had a stomachache from eating unsafe food. I vomited, had a stomachache and had a fever. After that time, I have been more careful in choosing food to eat and I have never eaten it again.

  • hello every one yes getting sick two times from food poisoning first one eating some food not cleaning and second time eating from big restaurants in my town after one hour
    feeling not good stomach terrible vomiting and diarrhea i will tray good coking and to little eating out side

  • actually I remember when my sister become poisoning . we visited to my grandmather. my uncle broght chicken sandwich in lunch. all us eat it but only my sister get sick.

  • Yes, I do because most dangers sickness from the food, you should also be careful to choose fresh fruits and vegetables.

    Yes, last month when I ate piece of chicken it was uncooked completely after three hours or more I felt pain on my stomach it was hurt, immediately I went to the hospital to get medicine, it was bad moments, after this experience I told myself I never don’t eat uncooked or not fresh food

  • Yes I am afried to sick from food because of that I dont like fast food and I prefer home make food than eating from restaurant.
    When I was studying in the universty I had to eat junk food every day and I was suffring from stomach pain everyday , I hated thous dayes

  • I have a little nervous feeling when I’m eating somethings out. Because I have a weak stomach, it will be hurt when I eat something not clean. I had a memory that I never forget. It was a Friday night, I was eating out with my friend. When I came home, I had a bad stomachache and I vomitted all the food I ate, after that I had a fever too.

  • I got food poisoning not too long ago. I remember that time when I was drinking with friends at a coffee shop, I ordered a glass of apple and pineapple juice. About two hours later, I came home with severe stomach pain, drooling and vomiting of all sorts. As a result, I had to be hospitalized and stayed in the hospital for 1 week. During my hospital stay, I received information that a friend of mine also drank the same juice and is now in the same condition as me. My friend and I contacted that coffee shop to find out the reason, we were told that the fruit that day was no longer fresh. But they kept it to make our juices instead of them having to throw them away.

  • Five keys to safer food is very useful for us.
    I often keep meat and vegetable in refrigerator. And use is in 3-5 days.
    I haven’t had food poisoning. But I had seen my friend who caught food poisoning after eat the food not clean. It’s very dangerous, she had to go to the hospital for treatment.
    After this lesson, I think people should take care more about themselves in eat clean.

  • I was once hospitalized due to food poisoning after attending my friend’s wedding party. There was a dish that was made with rancid ingredients and I ate very little. But unfortunately, which causes severe vomiting and diarrhea leading to dehydration. According to doctors, the case can be fatal if not treated promptly. So I am very worried about the current state of dirty food, which is the cause of many dangerous diseases for humans.

  • I am very cautious about the quality of the food. Today, many people profit by selling unsafe food that may potentially harm themselves. Food poisoning also happens often due to hazardous food being present in the market. I have an issue with it. I always choose my food carefully when I go to the market. Every single item of food at the store must be chosen very carefully. It is really a blessing that I have never suffered from food sickness. However, my buddy used to do the same action. That is very awful. Be cautious with what you choose for meals. When you go out to eat, remember that you have to pay a little bit extra for your meal. Please handle its quality with care. You should take good care of your health since it is the most essential.

  • I worry about getting sick from my food because it’s so dangerous. Even it can lead to die if the food is so poisoning. So I am always careful when i eat one thing. I’m lucky, I haven’t just poisoned yet. I rarely go out to eat or eat street food. Sometimes, i and my friends go out to eat together after the school. But we also choose the store clean and have origin food clearly. This is helps us safe and protect our health. But i know that the price of natural vegetables or meat of animals are pretty expensive. So there are some people who have not ability to buy it.

  • My stomach is not strong, so I always get hot foods. I often get sick when I use the street food, that is terrible, my body does not look mine.

  • My mother forces me to wash the fruits with salt water and to soak them in clean water for two minutes to remove the dirt on the surface of the fruit, but once i was too lazy to follow the process and ended up with a stomachache; ever since then, i have been extremely cautiuous when washing the fruits

  • Food safety is a pretty broad topic. A good short answer is: make sure all of your refrigeration is holding temp at all times, hands are being washed and gloves are being used properly, the food hierarchy is being observed and your staff understands what cross contamination means and how to prevent it from happening. If all of those things are in place, you’re on the road to serving safe food.

  • Yes I am worry about getting sick , I wash vegetables and fruits very well with a pure water
    I think yes , one or two times I ate toxic material in a food and I got very sick and my stomach hurt

  • Yes I had experience with poisoning food when I visit our family and eating shawarma chicken in hot weather because the restaurant didn’t cooked the food in high quality that caused me sick.. I didn’t forget that day

  • Yes. Contaminated food and water pose an issue all over the world. As a consequence, millions of people get sick or even die annually. So, food handlers and families must focus on hygiene. For example, cleaning their hands before preperation foods, cleaning tools and all contact surfaces, cooking food properly at the temperature of 70°c, as well as keeping food at the appropriate temperature.

  • Actually, I was getting sick from food often, espacially, fast food that I ate in several resturants. That due on many reason, the main is that I love fast food abnormally and prefer it than homemade food. currently, almost 70% of resturants doesn’t follow the healty terms that goverment lawed to decrease catching disease. So, unfortunatly

  • Sometimes yes especially If afood is from a resturant because I had a bad experience it caused me excruciating pain..

  • Yes, because most people sick or die before the safer food. No i don,t had food poisoning before but maybe this could happen at any time, Thank you for this program.

  • I’m concerned about food hygiene a lot. Having completed my studies in food technology at the university, I am aware of all the food microorganisms and how they spread. That’s way, I occasionally avoid eating certain foods due to their smells or their appearance.
    I have indeed experienced several cases of food poisoning.

  • yes im worry about getting sivk from my food because today the Contaminated food is widespread in large number but i dont eat to much from outside i prefer to eat at home, no i havent had poisoning food and i hope if i hadnt eat it ever

  • In my opinion , these ways are very important to not get sick from food.
    I alaways wash my ganda befor preparing food and eat it.
    Thank you very much , it was a useful topic.

  • In my opinion , these ways are very important to not get sick from food.
    I alaways wash my hands befor preparing food and eat it.
    Thank you very much , it was a useful topic.

  • No,l haven’t because my parents are going to get a fresh food everytime and then I thank them to bring me and my brother a clean food and l thanks for the process and l’m very useful from this lesson thanks again good luck with your work godbay

  • I do worry about getting sick from food I cook. I understood while reading that I use most of the keys described. However I believe it’s not possible to get rid of all micro-organisms on cooking surfaces despite how well they are cleaned. But I still will do my best to follow described keys to safer food.

  • I don’t worry about the food I eat. I tend to choose healthy food to consume. I think, my body’s immunity also strong. I have never been sick after eating.

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