The issue of food safety is becoming a public health concern due to its increasing negative effects on human health. More incidents have been linked to consumption of unsafe food, and millions of people yearly suffer from food borne diseases ranging from mild to severe issues. In the agricultural sector, especially at the farm level (largely undocumented), food safety issues have been identified which are linked to farmer's practices and almost all the time, compromise the safety of food produced.

Farmers engaged in either poor or food fraud (sharp practices) can be a big threat to food safety. For instance, the use of untreated human faeces as compost, the use of wet and uncured manure, the use of carbide to fast track the ripening plantain or banana are poor practices whereas addition of waste materials into cleaned products to increase the volume (weight) is considered a sharp practice. This could have a great impact on the safety of food. Therefore, we need to put more control measures to reduce these risks. Thus, preparing for the unexpected.

More farmers need to be engaged and sensitized to know the gravity of poor practices and food fraud on the food system especially as regards compromising food safety and the complications that come with it (which could result in mild to severe cases; death). Food fraud needs to be given attention and heavy fines should be imposed on perpetrators and in extreme cases, they should be criminalized. For food safety issues, we need a more robust response system to identify and address it in our food system. More importantly, implementing a more effective traceability system where the origin and destination of food produce can be traced and tracked easily.

More proactive work needs to be done by key stakeholders in the agricultural sector. We should be able to track and record food safety incidents, analyse them and develop more effective ways to tackle them. We should not always be caught unaware and unprepared. Every event needs to be premeditated and planned in order to consciously develop a food system that works for all. Let us be guarded, May Day can be anytime. The alarm is already triggered.