Food Safety 2022: WHO, FAO Sends Serious Message To Stakeholders
Stakeholders in the food and health sectors have been urged to improve food safety across the world.
A World Health Organisation official and an officer at the Food and Agriculture Organisation made this call.
Jeffrey LeJeune, the FAO official urged food makers and consumers to work together to achieve food safety.
He stressed the collaborative efforts of consumers, processors and other stakeholders.
LeJeune the unity of stakeholders will help ensure foods are free from contaminants. He explained that this would also help in reducing the risk of people falling sick and developing food-borne diseases.
LeJeune made this known at a virtual session organised by the WHO and the FAO to commemorate World Food Safety Day. He also said that food safety should be a concern for everyone.
The FAO official’s words:
“It could be anyone, consumers, food processors, people who grow the food, people who collect the food and many more.
“Everyone has a role to play and their roles are different. So, by working together, we can make the food safer because contaminants can enter the food chain anywhere from production to consumption.
“So working at the farm and making sure of the inputs in the farm, ensuring the water is clean, the animals are healthy, the food is processed under hygienic practices and distributed properly to keep it from getting contaminated are important.
“The consumers should wash their hands properly, keep their kitchen clean and also, cook food properly.
“We want to make sure food is safe because it has health implications.”
A scientist in the department of nutrition and food safety at the WHO, Simone Raszl spoke at the virtual session.
Raszl said that food-borne diseases are a health issue. She noted that this is not usually considered by member states, countries and by health sector leaders.
According to her, there are over 200 diseases that can be caused by consuming poor quality food.
She noted that food-borne diseases should not be seen as only a government issue. Raszl urged all stakeholders in the food industry, the civil societies, and consumers, to work together to curb food-borne diseases.
She also noted that food-borne diseases are avoidable and preventable. According to her, good hygiene practices will help in reducing the risks.
WHo Official said:
“Every year, one in 10 people will fall ill because of food-borne diseases or unsafe food. If we consider food-borne diseases preventable, it is not acceptable that we have people dying because of them.
“We can prevent and avoid the issues if we take very simple measures at home or when preparing food in a restaurant or a commercial kitchen or a company.
“Have your hands clean by washing your hands properly before you work with food, keep food at the right temperatures, use good ingredients, cook food properly and avoid cross-contamination.”
Cross-contamination is, “For instance, when you are working with raw meat and you use the same surface to work with raw vegetables like salad. So, you cook the meat and kill the contaminants there but that would not happen with the salad, that’s what we call cross-contamination.”
Source: PUNCH HealthWise