For the 2015 edition of World Health Day, consumers and food handlers alike are being reminded about the importance of practising food safety – an issue that can quickly escalate from a local problem to an international emergency in the increasingly globalised world.
Under the slogan “From farm to plate, make food safe,” the World Health Organization’s one-day event today, April 7, is being mounted as part of an effort to curb the number of food-borne illnesses which, in 2010 affected an estimated 582 million people and killed 351,000.
That’s according to new figures released by the WHO.
The most common causes of death were Salmonella (52,000), E. coli (37,000) and norovirus (35,000).
Globally, the region in Africa recorded the highest disease burden for food poisoning followed by South East Asia.
More than 40% of the victims were children under the age of five.
A local food safety problem can rapidly become an international emergency. Investigation of an outbreak of food-borne disease is vastly more complicated when a single plate or package of food contains ingredients from multiple countries,” says WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan.
Consumers are also being reminded that the public plays an important role in promoting food safety in a major public awareness campaign. – AFP Relaxnews