Fohealth and safety organizationod safetyThese challenges put greater responsibility on food producers and handlers to ensure food safety. Local incidents can quickly evolve into international emergencies due to the speed and range of product distribution. Serious foodborne disease outbreaks have occurred on every continent in the past decade, often amplified by globalized trade.
grow fruits and vegeles using the WHO Five Keys to Growing Safer Fruits and Vegeles to decrease microbial contamination.
Unsafe food poses global health threats, endangering everyone. Innts, young children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with an underlying illness are particularly vulnerable. Every year million children contract diarrhoeal diseases and die.
WHO aims to cilitate global prevention, detection and response to public health threats associated with unsafe food. Ensuring consumer trust in their authorities, and confidence in the safe food supply, is an outcome that WHO works to achieve.
Unsafe food creates a vicious cycle of diarrhoea and malnutrition, threatening the nutritional status of the most vulnerable. Where food supplies are insecure, people tend to shift to less healthy diets and consume more unsafe foods in which chemical, microbiological and other hazards pose health risks.
helping improve national food systems and legal frameworks, and implement adequate infrastructure to manage food safety risks. The International Food Safety Authorities Network INFOSAN was developed by WHO and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization FAO to rapidly share information during food safety emergencies;
infection leads to unplanned abortions in pregnant women or death of newborn babies. Although disease occurrence is relatively low, listerias severe and sometimes tal health consequences, particularly among innts, children and the elderly, count them among the most serious foodborne infections. Listeria is found in unpasteurised dairy products and various readytoeat foods and can grow at refrigeration temperatures.
such as lead, cadmium and mercury cause neurological and kidney damage. Contamination by heavy metal in food occurs mainly through pollution of air, water and soil.
Urbanization and changes in consumer habits, including travel, have increased the number of people buying and eating food prepared in public places. Globalization has triggered growing consumer demand for a wider variety of foods, resulting in an increasingly complex and longer global food chain.
know the food they use read labels on food package, make an informed choice, become miliar with common food hazards;
Everyone can contribute to food safe. Here are some examples of effective actions
handle and prepare food safely, practicing the WHO Five Keys to Safer Food at home, or when selling at restaurants or at local markets;
build and maintain adequate food systems and infrastructures e.g. laboratories to respond to and manage food safety risks along the entire food chain, including during emergencies;
providing independent scientific assessments on microbiological and chemical hazards that form the basis for international food standards, guidelines and recommendations, known as the Codex Alimentarius, to ensure food is safe wherever it originates;
An estimated million almost in people in the world ll ill after eating contaminated food and die every year, resulting in the loss of million healthy life years DALYs.
The burden of foodborne diseases to public health and welre and to economy has often been underestimated due to underreporting and difficulty to eslish causal relationships between food contamination and resulting illness or death.
Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli
Diarrhoeal diseases are the most common illnesses resulting from the consumption of contaminated food, causing million people to ll ill and deaths every year.
Chemical contamination can lead to acute poisoning or longterm diseases, such as cancer. Foodborne diseases may lead to longlasting disability and death. Examples of unsafe food include uncooked foods of animal origin, fruits and vegeles contaminated with eces, and raw shellfish containing marine biotoxins.
Food safety, nutrition and food security are inextricably linked. Unsafe food creates a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition, particularly affecting innts, young children, elderly and the sick.
The WHO report on the estimates of the global burden of foodborne diseases presented the firstever estimates of disease burden caused by foodborne agents bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins and chemicals at global and regional level.
are mainly caused by raw milk, raw or undercooked poultry and drinking water.
foster multisectoral collaboration among public health, animal health, agriculture and other sectors for better communication and joint action;
advocating for food safety as an important component of health security and for integrating food safety into national policies and programmes in line with the International Health Regulations IHR .
WHO works closely with FAO, the World Organization for Animal Health OIE and other international organizations to ensure food safety along the entire food chain from production to consumption.
is associated with unpasteurized milk, undercooked meat and fresh fruits and vegeles.
Food can become contaminated at any point of production and distribution, and the primary responsibility lies with food producers. Yet a large proportion of foodborne disease incidents are caused by foods improperly prepared or mishandled at home, in food service eslishments or markets. Not all food handlers and consumers understand the roles they must play, such as adopting basic hygienic practices when buying, selling and preparing food to protect their health and that of the wider community.
are among the most common foodborne pathogens that affect millions of people annually sometimes with severe and tal outcomes. Symptoms are fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Examples of foods involved in outbreaks of salmonellosis are eggs, poultry and other products of animal origin. Foodborne cases with
include mycotoxins, marine biotoxins, cyanogenic glycosides and toxins occurring in poisonous mushrooms. Staple foods like corn or cereals can contain high levels of mycotoxins, such as aflatoxin and ochratoxin, produced by mould on grain. A longterm exposure can affect the immune system and normal development, or cause cancer.
The Second International Conference on Nutrition ICN, held in Rome in November , reiterated the importance of food safety in achieving better human nutrition through healthy nutritious diets. Improving food safety is thus a key in achieving Sustainable Development Goals. Governments should make food safety a public health priority, as they play a pivotal role in developing policies and regulatory frameworks, eslishing and implementing effective food safety systems that ensure that food producers and suppliers along the whole food chain operate responsibly and supply safe food to consumers.
Examples include the contamination of innt formula with melamine in affecting innts and young children, of whom died, in China alone, and the EnterohaemorrhagicEscherichia colioutbreak in Germany linked to contaminated fenugreek sprouts, where cases were reported in countries in Europe and North America, leading to deaths and significant economic losses.
promoting safe food handling through systematic disease prevention and awareness programmes, through the WHO Five Keys to Safer Food message and training materials; and
Food supply chains now cross multiple national borders. Good collaboration between governments, producers and consumers helps ensure food safety.
Foodborne pathogens can cause severe diarrhoea or debilitating infections including meningitis.
Access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food is key to sustaining life and promoting good health.
Safe food supplies support national economies, trade and tourism, contribute to food and nutrition security, and underpin sustainable development.
Of most concern for health are naturally occurring toxins and environmental pollutants.
infects people through contaminated water or food. Symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting and profuse watery diarrhoea, which may lead to severe dehydration and possibly death. Rice, vegeles, millet gruel and various s of seafood have been implicated in cholera outbreaks.
Foodborne illnesses are usually infectious or toxic in nature and caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances entering the body through contaminated food or water.
Antimicrobials, such as antibiotics, are essential to treat infections caused by bacteria. However, their overuse and misuse in veterinary and human medicine has been linked to the emergence and spread of resistant bacteria, rendering the treatment of infectious diseases ineffective in animals and humans. Resistant bacteria enter the food chain through the animals e.g.Salmonellathrough chickens. Antimicrobial resistance is one of the main threats to modern medicine.
Norovirus infections are characterized by nausea, explosive vomiting, watery diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Hepatitis A virus can cause longlasting liver disease and spreads typically through raw or undercooked seafood or contaminated raw produce. Infected food handlers are often the source of food contamination.
think globally and act locally to ensure the food produce domestically be safe internationally.
To do this, WHO helps Member States build capacity to prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks by
Unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances, causes more than diseases ranging from diarrhoea to cancers.
are compounds that accumulate in the environment and human body. Known examples are dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls PCBs, which are unwanted byproducts of industrial processes and waste incineration. They are found worldwide in the environment and accumulate in animal food chains. Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and cause cancer.
As the worlds population grows, the intensification and industrialization of agriculture and animal production to meet increasing demand for food creates both opportunities and challenges for food safety. Climate change is also predicted to impact food safety, where temperature changes modify food safety risks associated with food production, storage and distribution.
Foodborne diseases impede socioeconomic development by straining health care systems, and harming national economies, tourism and trade.
Some parasites, such as fishborne trematodes, are only transmitted through food. Others, for example tapeworms likeEchinococcus spp, orTaenia solium, may infect people through food or direct contact with animals. Other parasites, such asAscaris, Cryptosporidium, Entamoeba histolyticaorGiardia, enter the food chain via water or soil and can contaminate fresh produce.
assessing the safety of new technologies used in food production, such as genetic modification and nanotechnology;
Children under years of age carry of the foodborne disease burden, with deaths every year.
Prions, infectious agents composed of protein, are unique in that they are associated with specific forms of neurodegenerative disease. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy BSE, or mad cow disease is a prion disease in cattle, associated with the variant CreutzfeldtJakob Disease vCJD in humans. Consuming bovine products containing specified risk material, e.g. brain tissue, is the most likely route of transmission of the prion agent to humans.
integrate food safety into broader food policies and programmes e.g. nutrition and food security;