Two weeks ago, it was Allergy Awareness Week. The second week in November is Australian Food Safety Week. Last week was Law Week in Queensland.
There are weeks for just about everything now, so do the messages get lost because of the sheer amount of them?
I’d have to be honest and say that like most of us I do not know what week is about what now, and in fact I realised the other day that most weeks have more than one theme.
As a member of the Food Safety Information Council, I probably see these week themes a little differently because we spend a large part of our year preparing for, and then reviewing, Food Safety Week.
It is the week when the media can highlight how important food safety is to all of us. There are at least four million food poisoning cases each year, approximately 200 deaths and it costs us all around $1.2 billion dolars. It is serious and that is why we spend our time focussing on that week.
All the other groups are doing the same thing for their specific weeks as well. The question really is whether these themed weeks really make any difference?
As a member of the public, when I hear that this week is whatever the theme is, I do stop briefly and have a think about it. So the message does get through to me, but I cannot speak for everyone else. However, when we analyse the amount of media hits that Food Safety Week has each year, we find that a lot of people have seen our message. So the actual results show that it is not only me that is getting the message that each of these weeks bring.
So a week is not just a week, it is the opportunity for groups within our community to remind us all about an important issue, and hopefully then to do something about it.