What is food safety?
Food safety refers to the process of preparing, processing, storing, and properly distributing food, ensuring the food is free from contamination.
The food production cycle starts from agriculture and ends with the delivery of packed end products to the consumer for consumption.
Everyone involved in the food supply chain is responsible for maintaining food safety. They should strictly adhere to the established rules and standards set to maintain food security.
Access to sufficient quantities of safe and nutrition-enriched food is a basic right of every human being. What do you think?
Causes of unsafe food
Foodborne diseases are generally infectious diseases and are caused by various harmful chemicals, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and heavy metals.
Harmful chemicals – Chemical hazards in food can be caused by industrial discharge, military nuclear operations, and other contaminants during the preparation of food.
Heavy metals like lead and mercury can cause neurological damage in human beings. It is mainly caused due to contamination of water and soil by industrial waste.
Negative effects of lack of food security
Food safety is becoming a serious issue all over the world due to negligence, pollution, brutal agricultural practices, and natural and man-made disasters.
According to WHO(World Health Organization)
An estimated 600 million – almost 1 in 10 people – fall ill after eating contaminated food in the world each year, resulting in 420 000 deaths and the loss of 33 million healthy life years (DALYs).
Children under five years of age carry 40% of the foodborne disease burden, with 125 000 deaths every year.
Foodborne diseases impede socioeconomic development by straining healthcare systems and harming national economies, tourism, and trade.
Importance of Food Safety
Protection from foodborne diseases
The main objective of food safety is to protect against foodborne diseases caused by contaminated food. The food is generally contaminated by pathogens like bacteria and viruses and can also be contaminated by chemicals and high doses of additives which can cause acute food poisoning.
Better living conditions
If consumers consume food that complies with certain standards set for food safety, their immune system becomes stronger. Their health will eventually improve, and they will fall ill less frequently. It will lead to a happy life where they will get stronger and will be able to focus on their work.
Urbanization changes have led to increasing numbers of people eating food prepared outside their homes. This has led to an increase in complexity and a longer food supply chain. Also, due to urbanization and globalization, the climate has been adversely affected. These climatic changes lower the quality of food.
The responsibility of food producers increases because of the above-mentioned challenges.
Internationally recognized food safety organizations
- International Association for Food Protection
- World Food Programme
- NSF International
- International organization for standardization
- International Food Protection Training Institute
The role of these organizations is to maintain certain standards of food to ensure food safety all over the world.
Measures were taken for
Food Safety Outreach Programme
The program is intended to help community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, food hubs, farm cooperatives, extension, and other local groups create innovative outreach and training programs to help farmers and small food processors prepare for and adapt to new food safety requirements.
Organic Agriculture is beneficial for the environment, the consumers as well as the farmers. The demand for organic food is increasing day by day. The biggest advantage of organic farming is that to be certified as organic; the food has to comply with certain food standards. Organic farming will help in increasing the revenue of farmers and help the environment and provide quality food to the community.
WHO Food Control System Assessment Tool
WHO(World Health Organization) assesses the performance of national food control systems throughout the entire food chain, identifying priority areas for further development and measuring and evaluating progress over time through the above-mentioned tool.
WHO promotes seedlings through systematic disease prevention and awareness programs through WHO Five keys to safer food messages and training materials.
It plays an essential role in achieving the target of providing safe food all over the world.
In the end, food safety is a basic right of every individual all over the world. Everyone should have access to food that is free from contamination.
Organizations from all over the world have started making some rules and regulations to reach the objective. International standards are set to check the quality of food.
But merely making policies is not enough; there should be proper implementation of these policies.
Food safety is beneficial not only for human beings but also for other living beings as well as the environment.