The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that World Health Day 2015 will focus on the importance of food safety.
The occasion will be used to raise awareness for the increasing importance of food safety in the current globalisation of the world’s food supply.
Committed to maintaining global health, the WHO will offer information for consumers, as well as food producers and health practitioners on various food safety risks and the preventative measures that should be taken to reduce the occurrence and spread of foodborne illnesses.
Strengthening Global Food Safety Systems
As international trade becomes more prominent, countries are sourcing much of their food from overseas. This means that strong food safety practices are more important now than ever before. Infected food now has a better chance of traveling abroad and potentially spreading a foodborne disease internationally.
The consumption of food containing malicious bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemicals is to blame for occurrences of over 200 diseases, from mild diarrhoea to aggressive forms of cancer. In addition, 2 million deaths annually – the majority of these being children – are linked to the ingestion of unsafe food.
As we continue to increase our utilisation of the global food supply, our food safety practices need to be polished into pique condition. It is the responsibility of each and every member of the global community – from food producers to vendors to consumers – to uphold the highest standard of food safety and prevent a global epidemic of foodborne illness.
The World Health Organisation emphasises five key practices for those handling and preparing food:
- Keep clean
- Separate raw and cooked food
- Cook food thoroughly
- Keep food at safe temperatures (stay out of the danger zone!)
- Use safe water and raw materials
Observation of these critical techniques will minimise the likelihood of both global and local foodborne disease outbreaks.
The World Health Organisation and Food Safety
The World Health Organisation is a division within the United Nations and is responsible for providing leadership and support to countries on matters of global health.
The WHO aids countries in the prevention, detection and response to outbreaks of foodborne illness. It abides by a collection of international food standards, guidelines and codes of food safety practices. Using an international information network, the World Health Organisation works together with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation to inform countries of food safety emergencies occurring throughout the world.