World Health Day: WHO Appeals for Urgent Steps to Ensure Food Safety

With a week left for the World Health Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged governments and stake holders to make food safety on priority basis. The World Health Day will be celebrated on April 7 all over the world.

The WHO said nearly 7 lakh children die every year of diarrhoea in WHO’s south-east Asia zone, including India.

World Health Day 2015 posterRevealing this, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO South-East Asia, said, “New and emerging threats – such as climate change and its impact on food production; emerging biological and environmental contamination; new technologies; new food-borne infections and diseases; and antimicrobial resistance through food chain – all pose challenges to the safety of our food.”

Bacteria, viruses, parasites, chemicals and other contaminants in our food can cause over 200 diseases ranging from diarrhoea to cancer, she added.

“These existing and emerging threats call for urgent action,” she said and called upon the countries in the region to put in place a comprehensive food safety policy matched by legislation and enforcement. She has also underscored the need for a trained workforce and an informed and empowered consumer to achieve this.

Together with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), WHO alerts countries to food safety emergencies through an international information network.

WHO Recommends 5 keys to safer food:

Reminding that food safety is a shared responsibility, WHO said all stakeholders in the food production chain – from farmers and manufacturers to vendors and consumers should adhere to the major 5 key recommendations — WHO’s Five keys to safer 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.

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