Food safety

Prevention of foodborne disease: Five keys to safer food

Implementation in countries of the five keys to safer food

WHO aims to improve the exchange and reapplication of practical food safety knowledge in and between Member States. Countries can highly benefit by exchanging experiences and tested solutions with each other. This section will enable countries and partners to have access to the different tools produced in different parts of the world to deliver the Five Keys messages.

We would appreciate receiving any available documentation on five keys projects to facilitate further sharing of knowledge.

Country material and activities

(Countries are sorted by the 6 WHO regions)

Regional Office for Africa


Activities recently initiated: Training of food vendors (No documentation)

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Activities recently initiated: Training of food vendors (No documentation)


Activities initiated: School food safety campaigns (no documentation)

South Africa

Activities recently initiated: Promotion of food safety in schools in the millennium villages (no documentation)


Activities recently initiated: adaptation of the poster and training (no documentation)


Regional Office for the Americas

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda has been using the Five keys to safer food developed by WHO/PAHO since 2007 for the training of foodhandlers. To date, they have trained some 4000 foodhandlers.

Update [pdf 10kb]

Adaptation of the poster for use in Antigua and Barbuda [pdf 835kb]


Several municipalities of Argentina integrated the Five Keys to Safer Food into their training for food handlers. As an example, the Food Safety Agency of the Santa Fe province is currently developing a course which will be mandatory for all food handlers (no documentation)


Bolivia used the Five keys to train food handlers in the context of healthy food markets and training in schools (no documentation)

Dominican Republic

The Five keys have been used in the context of Healthy Markets and projects to use the Five Keys in school settings are being considered (No documentation)

El Salvador

The Ministry of Health is working on the reproduction of the Five Keys poster to make a prevention campaign in Mexico City.


The Five keys to safer food training was used to encourage tourism by decreasing foodborne disease in Maldonado, Uruguay. The core course w as mandatory for all commercial food handlers in Maldonado who were required to pass a test at the end of the course. Approximately 12 000 persons successfully completed the course. Evaluation of the programme showed that the training not only improved the knowledge and behaviour of the food handlers but resulted in a significant decrease in foodborne disease (no documentation)

Each year, Uruguay organizes a food safety day based on the Five keys message.

A Five Keys to Safer Food training was used to encourage tourism by decreasing foodborne disease in Maldonado.


Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean

The WHO Regional Office for the Region of the Eastern Mediterranean printed 500 000 copies of the Five keys posters and 100 000 copies of stickers intended to primary schools and kindergartens in the region. During the months of Ramadan, the Five Keys have been distributed to schools, mosques, restaurants, food manufacturing and food industries.

Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Syrian Arab Republic translated the Five Keys poster into local languages.

Bahrain, Kuwait, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Morocco, Qatar, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen have done small orientation training activities on the Five Keys.

Iran (Islamic Republic of)

Iran translated the Five Keys to Safer Food Manual and introduced the Five Keys in Community Health workers training programme (No documentation)


Regional Office for Europe


Ministry of Health is preparing a health promotion campaign using the Five Keys in English, French and Dutch (No documentation)


Poster was used to teach preventive measures to schools children, to teach post-graduade training courses in food safety (No documentation)


April 2009: Croatia lauches a food safety campaign for tourism using the Guide on Safe Food for travellers (no documentation)
Food safety promotion in schools using the WHO five keys to safer foodZagreb, Croatia, 13 November 2008(no documentation)

Czech Republic

Ministry of Health, Direction generale de la sante, is preparing a guide for safe food handling for consumers (no documentation)


The Poster was translated into Kazak and used to train professional food handlers of schools and kindergartens of the South Kazakhstan regions (No documentation)

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

The poster, manual and leaflet were translated into Macedonian and used in food safety campaigns (No dcumentation for the manual or leaflet)


The National Health Institute (Dr Ricardo Jorge) took the initiative to translate the Five Keys to Safer Food Manual into Portuguese and disseminated the Five Keys message in international congresses and to all the community of countries of Portuguese language.


The Catalan Food Safety Agency adapted the Five Keys and designed designed food safety educational material consisting in a brochure, a DVD and a poster. As the supply of safe drinking water and food are guaranteed in Spain, the 5 keys have been reduced to four.
- Brochure


December 2008 Tajikistan launches a Five Keys to Safer Food initiative (no documenation)


Regional Office for South-East Asia

The WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia has translated the Five keys poster into the 13 languages widely spoken in the region and a guidance booklet on how to adapt the Five Keys to local conditions was prepared. Following the tsunami, the posters and training manuals were distributed widely throughout the affected countries. These materials were used in emergency refugee camps, marketplaces, health care facilities and schools; and helped prevent the secondary outbreak of disease which is often associated with poor sanitation and overcrowding.


Regional Office for the Western Pacific

China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

The Government of Hong Kong SAR, Center for Food Safety, in 2008 launched a campaign to promote the Five Keys to Safer Food:

The Food Safety Charter 2009 by which food traders can sign a charter engaging them to promote the five keys to the public and apply them themselves in their premises.

A large-scale survey about the public's knowledge and use of the Five Keys was undertaken.

As part of the campaign, a number of adapted and localized materials have been developed.

A leaflet was developed for consumers.

Lao People's Democratic Republic
Papua New Guinea
Republic of Korea
Solomon Islands
Viet Nam

Featured country - Cape Verde

For information about the WHO requirements to reproduce or translate the poster or for potential collaborations please contact Françoise Fontannaz:

For regional food safety contacts please go to our Contact us page