WHO cites need to ensure food safety from farm to plate on World Health Day

April 7, 2015 5:30 am 

By Leilani S. Junio

MANILA, April 6 (PNA) — The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasized Monday that food safety assurance is the responsibility of all stakeholders and requires concerted action to safeguard food safety in the Region.

“Food safety is the responsibility of everyone along the food chain– from farm to plate,” said WHO Regional Director Dr. Shin Young-soo in a conference attended by delegates of the member-countries in the Western Pacific Region held at WHO regional office on United Nations Avenue, Manila.

Speaking in line with the celebration of the World Health Day for this year, Dr. Shin said that producers, manufacturers and traders must take responsibility for the safety of food they handle to observe food safety in order to save lives and improve global health.

He added that consumers on the other hand must be aware in order to take preventive steps in following good food safety practices.

He said that being aware with simple steps such as using clean water during preparation or separating raw and cooked foods can help a lot in making food safe.

“Everybody is at risk of food-borne diseases, but infants, children, pregnant women and older people are at particularly high risk,” he further said in his speech.

The Regional Director also said that an estimated two million people globally die due to unsafe food each year.

He also said that unsafe foods containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances cause more than 200 disease–ranging from diarrhea to chronic diseases such as cancer and even to brain disorder, chronic malnutrition and impaired development.

Dr. Shin warned against the risk of unsafe food crossing borders which he described as greater now due to increase in international travel and trade.

He further emphasized that there is a need for every government to make food safety a priority and invest in national food safety systems.

“We ask countries to implement control and elimination strategies against food-borne diseases and improve regional collaboration to prevent, detect and respond to food-borne disease outbreaks."(PNA)

CTB/LSJ/EDS

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