Today is World Health Day. Is Your Food Safe?

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The World Health Organization is holding it’s annual event to promote awareness of global health issues today. with the 2015 theme being food safety.

According to the WHO’s website,

“New data on the harm caused by foodborne illnesses underscore the global threats posed by unsafe foods, and the need for coordinated, cross-border action across the entire food supply chain..

…Unsafe food can contain harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances, and cause more than 200 diseases – ranging from diarrhoea to cancers. Examples of unsafe food include undercooked foods of animal origin, fruits and vegetables contaminated with faeces, and shellfish containing marine biotoxins.

Foodborne and waterborne diarrhoeal disease kill an estimated 2 million people annually, including many children and particularly in developing countries. Unsafe food creates a vicious cycle of diarrhoea and malnutrition, threatening the nutritional status of the most vulnerable.

Food safety is a cross-cutting issue and shared responsibility that requires participation of non-public health sectors (i.e. agriculture, trade and commerce, environment, tourism) and support of major international and regional agencies and organizations active in the fields of food, emergency aid, and education.”

Illnesses caused by food safety issues are a detriment to socioeconomic development all over  the world  because they place undue stress on healthcare systems. Additionally, if there is an outbreak of foodborne illness and disease, national income sources such as tourism and trade are drastically affected. The World Health Organization believes that the effects can be significantly lessened through collaboration with food production, government officials and consumers. Communication can ensure food safety.

Is this a cause that you are interested in? For more information, visit the World Health Organization’s website.

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