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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

1.6 Million People Become Sick Daily From Eating Unsafe Food – WHO

World Health Organization, (WHO), on Friday, reported that an estimated 1.6 million people fall ill daily from consuming unsafe food.

According to the body, Children under the age of 5 bear 40% of the foodborne disease burden, according to Francesco Branca, head of nutrition and food safety at WHO, who spoke at a UN press briefing in Geneva on World Food Safety Day.

Branca, emphasized that, food safety hazards transcend borders and warned that in an “increasingly interconnected global food supply,” risks from unsafe food can quickly escalate from a local issue to an international crisis.

He highlighted that humanitarian crises worldwide exacerbate food insecurity and compromise food safety.

The official called on governments to prioritize food safety in their national health security action plans, update risk communication strategies, and develop integrated surveillance systems for animal, environmental, and human health.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization, (FAO), considers safe food essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said Markus Lipp, a senior food safety officer, during the briefing.

Lipp noted that safe food is crucial for FAO’s strategic objectives of better production, nutrition, environment, and lives.

“When food is produced and traded in a safe and sustainable agrifood system, it contributes to a healthy life and improves sustainability by enabling market access and productivity, which drives economic development and poverty alleviation, especially in rural areas,” Lipp said.

Improving food safety, he added, will protect public health and reduce child mortality, particularly as children under 5 are the most affected by foodborne diseases. — Agencies

Source: Agencies via SG.

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