World Health Day 2015 Focused on Food Safety
The World Health Organization is marking World Health Day 2015 on April 7 and has focused it on food safety. Unsafe food is linked to the deaths of an estimated 2 million people annually, many of whom are children, according to the UN agency, which notes that food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemical substances is responsible for more than 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhea to cancers.
To make matters worse, WHO reports new threats to food safety are constantly emerging. “Changes in food production, distribution and consumption; changes to the environment; new and emerging pathogens; antimicrobial resistance — all pose challenges to national food safety systems. Increases in travel and trade enhance the likelihood that contamination can spread internationally,” according to its announcement.
The world’s food supply is becoming increasingly globalized, so there is a growing need to strengthen food safety systems in and between all countries. Together with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, WHO alerts countries to food safety emergencies through an international information network. According to WHO, these are the five keys to safer food for vendors and consumers handling and preparing food:
•Key 1: Keep clean
•Key 2: Separate raw and cooked food
•Key 3: Cook food thoroughly
•Key 4: Keep food at safe temperatures
•Key 5: Use safe water and raw materials