Food Safety

  • Created by: caolan24
  • Created on: 26-11-18 10:33

Food safety: a public health priority

Sufficient and safe food is a basic human necessity, essential for creating a world without hunger and poverty. 

  • Individuals from developing countries are most at risk of developing foodborne illnesses; Diarrhoea kills an estimates 2.2 million people a year, most of whom are children

Most common foodborne illness caused by pathogens and microorganisms

  • Chemical food contamination may cause diseases such as cancer, and also affect reproductive health and immune system. 

Negative economic consequences = burden on the healthcare system.  

  • No more than 10% and sometimes as low as 1% of incidences of foodborne illnesses are reported. 
  • Reduction of foodborne illness by 10% will save 5 million people from getting sick. 
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Food Safety Challenges

  • Poverty: most exposed to a foodborne illness.
  • Demographic and environmental development: ageing population, increased migration, climate change and extreme weather put people at greater risk.  
  • Population growth: increasing population = the industrialisation of the agriculture and the meat industry due to the demands of food, increasing the risk of foodborne illness, creating new opportunities for the transmission of pathogens, challenging food safety.  
  • Changing lifestyles: urbanisation, eating out more, travel and new food trends increase the risk of developing a foodborne illness.
  • Globalisation: allows for a wider variety of foods, however, the food chain becomes longer and more complex, resulting in an environment where new foodborne diseases may occur and spread more easily.  
  • Antibiotic resistance: an increasing health concern as salmonella and campylobacter show a significant level of resistance to antibiotics used in humans an animals.  
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The WHO response to food safety

Unsafe food poses a global health threat.

The WHO aims to facilitate global prevention, detection and response to public health emergencies associated with unsafe food. 

  • They want governments to make food safety a public health priority, ensuring food producers and suppliers, operate responsibly and supply safe food to consumers. 

As a result, they have adopted a 'farm to fork' approach, in order to focus efforts on the key areas of the food chain.

Image result for world health organization

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Contributions to food safety

Policy-makers can:

  • respond to and manage food safety risks along the food chain. 
  • think globally and act locally, to ensure food produced domestically is safe internationally.

Consumers can: 

  • be aware of the food they use by reading food label.
  • make an informed observation of foods they are eating based on the colour, taste and texture. 
  • handle and prepare food safely. 

In the UK: 

  • The Food Standards Agency is responsible for food safety in the UK. 
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Food safety in Europe

EU food safety policy covers food from farm to fork.

It guarantees:

  • Safe, nutritious animal feed.
  • High standard of animal health and welfare.
  • Plant protection. 
  • Clear information on the origin, ingredients, labelling and use of food.  

EU strategies

Early warning system: Operates a rapid early warning system (RASFF) to protect consumers from food that does not comply with EU standards. (When an issue is spotted an alert is sent out across the EU.)

Traceability: Allows EU authorities to trace the movement of food products through the production chain.  

Science-based decisions: The European Food Saftey Authority (EFSA) provided the EU with scientific research and advice when dealing with food safety, information is then used for policymaking

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