More than 800 million people today, many of them children, are hungry and malnourished. Most of these people live in parts of the world where food is contaminated or adulterated. Food-borne diseases are a problem and the task of accurately making an estimate of the occurrence of food diseases is formidable in many countries.
It is estimated that 70 percent of the diarrhea cases in the world yearly are directly caused by biological or chemical contamination in foods. Even when such diseases are not fatal, they increase the effects of poor diet. They could lead to retardation and physical disabilities. Plant toxins have also been implicated in food safety problems. Some cases of adulteration in food grains has led to disease outbreaks. Other outbreaks have involved contaminants like lead, mercury, and cadmium. Marine biotoxins have also been implicated in some poisoning cases, along with mould growth. In a recent gathering of nutritionists, the main concerns were the use of antibiotics and hormones in meat and poultry, pesticide residues in food, use of genetically modified ingredients, and food adulteration. It was reported that leading companies have committed to provide maximum food safety and quality with the linked branding method, where the highest quality food and feed ingredient suppliers offer their brands to support processed food products.
"We are what we eat" is an old proverb which simply means that our nutritional status, health, physical, and mental faculties depend on the food we eat and how we eat it. Access to good-quality food has been man’s main endeavor since the earliest days of human existence. It is the basic responsibility of the food industry to produce and market quality and safe food. And it is the duty of government to guarantee compliance by industry with national food quality and safety requirements.