Food Safety: WHO Releases Guidelines to Prevent Food Poisoning

Posted by Adaora Anozie

On April 23, 2015

In view of the increasing occurrence of food poisoning especially after more than 80 MEMBERS of Strathmore University suffered same fate in Nairobi, Kenya – the World Health Organisation has released guidelines for food safety.

The victims admitted to hospital were among 300 others who ate the food during the university’s seniors’ dinner.

The university attributed the poisoning to bad food delivered by an outside caterer. Many of those admitted were vomiting and had diarrhoea.

In a statement to marking the World Health Day, the WHO attributed food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances as being responsible for more than 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhoea to cancers.

“Food safety is a shared responsibility. It is important to work all along the food production chain – from farmers and manufacturers to vendors and consumers,” said the organization in a press release in commemoration of the global day.

WHO also released guidelines saying all food should always be kept clean while raw and cooked food should be separated.

Food must also be cooked thoroughly at safe temperatures. The organisation, which advises governments around the world, also called for use of safe water and raw materials.

“Unsafe food is linked to the deaths of an estimated TWO million people annually – including many children,” WHO said.

It warned that new threats to food safety were constantly emerging. These are triggered by changes in food production, distribution and consumption; changes to the environment; new and emerging pathogens and antimicrobial resistance.

“As our food supply BECOMES increasingly globalized, the need to strengthen food safety systems in and between all countries is becoming more and more evident. That is why the WHO is promoting efforts to improve food safety, from farm to plate,” the statement said.

The organisation recommends adherence to the Codex Alimentarius, a collection of international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice covering all the main foods and processes.

Culled from AgroNigeria Online