Food Safety: An Important Aspect of Food Security

Unsafe food is a threat to human health and economies globally.

To protect the consumer, it is important that the food on our table is produced, processed, and distributed in a safe manner. Food trade liberalisation and globalisation have not only opened our borders, but they have also increased our susceptibility to pest and food safety threats. The number of people affected by food poisoning in industrialised countries is increasing by 30% annually.

Food-borne diseases caused by consumption of contaminated food that carry viruses, bacteria, protozoa, parasites, or fungi usually result in nausea, vomiting or fever. Symptoms can be mild to severe and tend to occur in more susceptible users such as infants, pregnant women, and the elderly. Many of the food-borne disease-causing microbes can also be transmitted in contaminated fresh water. Infection usually occurs during the preparation or consumption of contaminated food. As water systems are typically used by large numbers of people, disease outbreaks can affect large sections of the population.

According to the World Health Organisation, about 2.2 million people die each year from gastrointestinal diseases transmitted through food and water, including 1.9 million children. Food-borne diseases can also be caused by chemical hazards such as pesticides, which can result in chronic, life-threatening symptoms or immunological deficiencies, as well as cancer and death. Food safety can suffer at any stage of the farm-to-fork journey: farmers use agrochemicals, fertilisers, pesticides, and veterinary drugs. Before food reaches our kitchen, processors and retailers may adulterate, prepare, or store food improperly, or fail to meet the highest hygiene standards.

food safety food protection

To protect the health of consumers, in recent years, many countries have developed comprehensive and harmonised food safety and quality control guidelines in accordance with national laws and international regulations.

Find out more about how large corporations are improving food safety standards at our new conference that will take place in Düsseldorf from 10-11th of May. We will discuss how to fight food fraud/protection and how to improve food safety standards by changing both industry and government approach from reactive to preventive.

 

Conference brochure is available on our website at www.smartfoodsafety.eu

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