lunes, 27 de julio de 2015

World Health Day 2015: From farm to plate, make food safe

Over 40% people suffering from enteric diseases caused by contaminated food were children aged under 5 years.
 New data on the harm caused by foodborne illnesses underscore the global threats posed by unsafe foods, and the need for coordinated, cross-border action across the entire food supply chain, according to WHO, which next week is dedicating its annual World Health Day to the issue of food safety.
World Health Day will be celebrated on 7 April, with WHO highlighting the challenges and opportunities associated with food safety under the slogan “From farm to plate, make food safe.”
Food production has been industrialized and its trade and distribution have been globalized. These changes introduce multiple new opportunities for food to become contaminated with harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemicals.
Unsafe food can contain harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances, and cause more than 200 diseases - ranging from diarrhoea to cancers. Examples of unsafe food include undercooked foods of animal origin, fruits and vegetables contaminated with feces, and shellfish containing marine biotoxins.
Today, WHO is issuing the first findings from what is a broader ongoing analysis of the global burden of foodborne diseases. The full results of this research, being undertaken by WHO’s Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG), are expected to be released in October 2015.
Some important results are related to enteric infections caused by viruses, bacteria and protozoa that enter the body by ingestion of contaminated food. The initial FERG figures, from 2010, show that:

·         There were an estimated 582 million cases of 22 different foodborne enteric diseases and 351 000 associated deaths;
·         The enteric disease agents responsible for most deaths were Salmonella Typhi(52 000 deaths), enteropathogenic E. coli (37 000) and norovirus (35 000);
·         The African region recorded the highest disease burden for enteric foodborne disease, followed by South-East Asia;
·         Over 40% people suffering from enteric diseases caused by contaminated food were children aged under 5 years.
WHO is working to ensure access to adequate, safe, nutritious food for everyone. The Organization supports countries to prevent, detect and respond to foodborne disease outbreaks—in line with the Codex Alimentarius, a collection of international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice covering all the main foods.
Food safety is a cross-cutting issue and shared responsibility that requires participation of non-public health sectors (i.e. agriculture, trade and commerce, environment, tourism) and support of major international and regional agencies and organizations active in the fields of food, emergency aid, and education.


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