WHO: Governments should make food safety a public priority

April 7, 2015 5:30 am 

By Leilani S. Junio

MANILA, April 6 (PNA) — The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday urged different governments of countries in the Western Pacific Region to make food safety a public health priority.

“Governments must make food safety a priority and invests in national food safety system,” said Dr. Shin Young-Soo, WHO regional director, as part of the April 7 celebration of World Health Day at the WHO regional office at the United Nations Avenue, Manila.

Dr. Shin added that since government plays a pivotal role in developing policies and regulatory frameworks, they can initiate the establishment of and implementation of up-to-date food laws and regulations.

He said that governments should support effective food safety systems to ensure that food producers and suppliers along the whole food chain will operate responsibly and supply safe food to consumers.

Also needed, he said, are modern food testing facilities as well as information, education and communication capacity on food safety.

The WHO said that as part of advocacy on food safety, lawmakers or policy makers can contribute in initiating the creation of adequate food safety systems and infrastructures like laboratories to respond to and manage food safety risks along the entire food chain.

It added that multi-sectoral collaboration to promote public health, animal health, and agriculture among other sectors can also be done.

The WHO added that integrating food safety into broader food policies and programs such as nutrition and food security will also help.

The WHO added that food handlers and consumers should practice food safety to prevent food contamination from the point of production to distribution.

It added that improper preparation or mishandling can lead to food-borne diseases.

The WHO estimates that at least 2 million people globally die each year due to food poisoning and diseases emerging from unsafe foods. (PNA)

LAM/LSJ/EDS

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