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-- By Moradiya P. B.
M.Tech PFE (Roll no. 14)

Keywords: food, food safety, health,

Ensuring food safety and preventing food borne diseases is an international public health concern. Food safety authorities around the world are constantly challenged by changes in microorganisms and new chemicals associated with food, as well as changes in food production techniques and consumer behaviors, which lead to new risks to the public. To combat these challenges, it is critical that food safety authorities around the globe collaborate and share information and experiences. One country's problem today, could be another country's problem tomorrow and there is a need to learn from each others' successes. The International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN), is a joint programme between the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), and has been providing a mechanism to facilitate such sharing of information since 2004. The Fifty-third World Health Assembly, in resolution requested the Director-General to put in place a global strategy for surveillance of foodborne diseases and to initiate a range of other activities on food safety and health. Since then WHO has organized a strategy planning meeting on food safety (Geneva, 20-22 February 2001). Following further consultation with Member States, WHO has drawn up a global food safety strategy, including surveillance, as outlined in this article. The WHO Global Strategy for Food Safety: Defining the challenge Traditional food safety measures have not been efficient in preventing foodborne disease over the last decades. WHOs goal of reducing the public health burden of foodborne disease can best be achieved through systematic application of risk analysis. Structures and systems must therefore be developed at national, regional and international levels to survey foodborne disease, conduct risk assessments and implement risk management strategies. What is WHO doing? WHO is partner to an international, multidisciplinary and intersectoral framework that recognizes the linkages between animal, human and ecosystem health domains, and seeks to diminish the public health risk and the global impact of infectious diseases by enhancing livestock and wildlife disease intelligence, surveillance and emergency response systems at local, national, regional and international levels.

-- By Moradiya P. B.

Food production to consumption In many countries, responsibility for food safety is divided among several agencies with overlapping authority. This situation has led to a disjointed strategy for the protection of human health from foodborne disease. Following the lead of a number of developed countries, the Department of Food Safety and Zoonoses (FOS) is working to transfer the technology for an integrated production-to-consumption approach to food safety to Member States. Such an approach relies mainly on the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point System (HACCP), which has been advocated by WHO for nearly 20 years. Retail Food retailing involves the sale of foods in supermarkets and shops and in the informal sector, such as street-food vendors and market stalls. Food handling, preparation and storage in food service establishments require special provisions. Processing This category includes a wide range of processed foods that have been manufactured using complex and highly technical methods to ensure food safety, extend shelf-life, reduce spoilage and to facilitate trade. Principles of food safety management need to be strictly applied in order to minimize the risk of potential food safety hazards. Consumer handling Advice to consumers on the storage, handling and preparation of foods in the home is an essential element of a National Food Safety Programme. Improper handling and preparation by consumers often negate the food safety measures introduced by other sectors in the earlier stages of the food-chain. Why is food safety an essential public health issue? Serious outbreaks of foodborne disease have been documented on every continent in the past decade, illustrating both the public health and social signific ance of these diseases. Foodborne diseases most seriously affect children, pregnant women, the elderly and people already affected by other diseases. Foodborne diseases not only significantly affect peoples health and well-being, but they also have economic consequences for individuals, families, communities, businesses and countries. These diseases impose a substantial burden on health-care systems and markedly reduce economic productivity. Types of food contamination Food can be contaminated by: chemicals natural toxins foreign matter Micro organisms.

-- By Moradiya P. B.

Handling food safely

We need to: avoid preparing food when sick or feeling unwell use clean equipment, plates or containers to prevent contamination of cooked food use clean equipment, rather than hands, to pick up food wear clean clothes or a clean apron wash fruit and vegetables to be eaten raw under running water.

Keeping cold food cold Avoid keeping food in the temperature danger zone of 5C - 60C. We need to: take cold groceries home to the refrigerator quickly as possible keep chilled and frozen food cold if it will be a long time before it can be placed in a refrigerator or freezer store cold food at 5C or less keep cold food in the refrigerator as much as possible Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator or microwave Check the temperature of the refrigerator regularly. Keeping hot food hot Avoid keeping food in the temperature danger zone of 5C - 60C. We need to: keep cooked food at 60C or above until served Refrigerate or freeze food that is to be prepared well in advance and reheat until steaming hot before serving
-- By Moradiya P. B.

Five key behaviors

Everyone wants to look and feel healthy. By choosing safer food, healthier nutrition and regular physical activity, you can improve your health throughout your life. These keys are important for your health no matter how old you are or where you live in the world. Look better, feel better, reduce your visits to the doctor, maintain normal blood sugar and blood pressure, keep a healthy weight these are just a few of the benefits of adopting the key behaviors. Five Keys to safer food 1. Keep clean 2. Separate raw and cooked 3. Cook thoroughly 4. Keep food at safe temperatures 5. Use safe water and raw materials

International compliance with new food safety and agricultural health standards can bring costs and structural changes which, in turn, can give rise to significant redistribution of welfare across countries, along supply chains affected by standards, as well as within societies as a whole. These distributional effects can come through direct changes in product, labor, and land markets and through various secondary effects (in public health, for example, or in local environmental conditions). The available evidence on this issue in developing countries remains fragmentary, and, there are significant methodological challenges to properly attributing distributional effects to standards per se. Yet, several tentative conclusions can nevertheless be drawn from the current research and other complimentary analyses.

www.fao.org www.who.int/en http://www.who.int/entity/foodsafety/en/ http://www.who.int/entity/foodsafety/foodborne_disease/en/ http://www.who.int/entity/foodsafety/codex/en/ http://www.who.int/entity/foodsafety/fs_management/en/ www.who.int/foodsafety/consumer/en
-- By Moradiya P. B.