World Food Safety Day on 7 June 2023 draws attention to food standards and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development.
BURDEN OF FOOD-BORNE DISEASES
Foodborne diseases affect 1 in 10 people worldwide each year, and food standards help us to ensure what we eat is safe. With an estimated 600 million cases of foodborne illnesses annually, unsafe food is a threat to human health and economies, disproportionally affecting vulnerable and marginalized people, especially women and children, populations affected by conflict, and migrants. An estimated 420 000 people around the world die every year after eating contaminated food and children under 5 years of age carry 40% of the foodborne disease burden, with 125 000 deaths every year.
CAUSES OF Food-borne diseases
- Foodborne diseases are the illnesses contracted from eating contaminated food or beverages. Illnesses include foodborne intoxications and infections, which are often incorrectly referred to as food poisoning.
- There are many different foodborne diseases that are caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, toxins, metals, and prions. Symptoms of foodborne illness range from mild gastroenteritis to life-threatening neurologic, hepatic, and renal syndromes.
- Botulism, Brucellosis, Campylobacter enteritis, Escherichia coli, Hepatitis A, Listeriosis, Salmonellosis, Shigellosis, Toxoplasmosis, Viral gastroenteritis, Taeniasis and Trichinosisare examples of foodborne diseases.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
- Use safe water and ingredients: Use safe water or treat it to make it safe; select fresh and wholesome foods; choose foods processed for safety such as pasteurized milk; wash fruits and vegetables, especially if eaten raw; do not use food beyond its expiry date.
- Keep your hands, utensils, and surfaces clean: Wash your hands before handling food and often during food preparation; wash your hands after going to the toilet; clean all surfaces and equipment used in food preparation; protect kitchen areas from insects, rodents and other animals.
- Cook food thoroughly: Cook food thoroughly, especially meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood; bring foods like soups and stews to boiling. For meat and poultry, make sure juices are clear, not pink; reheat cooked food thoroughly.
- Keep food at safe temperatures: Do not leave cooked food at room temperature for more than 2 hours; refrigerate promptly all cooked and perishable food (preferably below 5°C); keep cooked food piping hot (more than 60°C) prior to serving; do not store food too long in the refrigerator; do not thaw frozen food at room temperature.
- Separate raw from cooked food: Separate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from other foods; use separate equipment and utensils such as knives and cutting boards for handling raw foods; store food in containers to avoid contact between raw and prepared foods.