Why should everyone know about Food Safety?
1 in 10 people fall ill every year from eating contaminated food, and 420,000 people die each year as a result. Children under 5 years of age are at particularly high risk, with some 125,000 young children dying from foodborne diseases (often called “food poisoning.” Every year. More than 200 known diseases are transmitted through the foods.
The great majority of people will experience a foodborne disease at some point in their life. These diseases can make people very sick or even be life threatening. Proper food preparation can prevent most foodborne diseases.
When people are sick, they are weak and would have difficulty working or concentrating at school. Some of these infections also make it difficult for our bodies to absorb the nutrients they need to get healthy. Unsafe or stale foods also deteriorate and be of poor quality, which means they lose nutrients and so we do not get enough of what we need for a healthy diet. So unsafe food can also lead to poor nutrition.
This highlights the importance of making sure the food we eat is not contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria, parasites, viruses, toxins, and chemicals. But, we can get rid of most foodborne diseases through proper food handling.
Foodborne illness can strike anyone. However, some people are at a higher risk for developing the foodborne illness. These include pregnant women, young children, older adults and people with weakened immune systems. If you — or someone you care for — are in one of these at-risk groups, it’s important to pay extra attention to handling food safely.
Since foodborne illness can be serious — or even fatal — it is important for you to know and practice safe food handling behaviors to help reduce your risk of accidentally getting sick from contaminated food.
Food safety is about handling, storing and preparing food to prevent infection and help to make sure that our food keeps enough nutrients for us to have a healthy diet. Unsafe food and water mean that it has been exposed to dirt and germs, or may even be rotten, which can cause infections or diseases such as diarrhea, meningitis, etc.
Food can become contaminated at any point during production, distribution, and preparation. Everyone along the production chain, from producer to consumer, has a role to play to ensure the food we eat does not cause diseases.
Controlling the entire food system is no easy task. It is a complex, competitive, multi-level system embracing legal, political, social and economic forces.
From Farm-To-Table, the volume of foodborne diseases and chemical, microbiological and physical food hazards are increasing and evolving.