Get serious about food safety!

Editorial Good Morning Kashmir
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The right food can serve as the medicine; but our negligence can turn it into poison. Billions of people in the world are at the risk of unsafe food. The food that eventually lands on our plates has to face a lot of challenges before it reaches us which include the personal, chemical, microbial and environmental hygiene. Lately, microbial contaminants are becoming a serious threat. The Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) have attributed these agents as the most devastating to children younger than 5 years, the elderly and the sick. Nevertheless, unhygienic food can affect people of any age, race, gender and economic stability. Unsafe food containing harmful viruses, bacteria, parasites or other chemical substances causes more than 200 diseases ranging from diarrhea to cancers. It is estimated that 600 million people in the world fall ill and 420000 die every year which results in the loss of 33 million disability adjusted life years. Children under 5 years of age carry 40 percent of the food borne disease burden with 125000 deaths every year.

 

Also Read : Under JJM, Central grant of Rs 604 cr released

 

And living in the pandemic has surged the risk. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and World Health Organisation (WHO) proposed that touching food packages or containers contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 could transmit the virus to the mouth, nose or eyes. Although to date, no study has investigated the survival of SARS-CoV-2 in foods, it is widely known that viruses can’t multiply in food products. Nevertheless, Adenovirus is said to have survived on lettuce and strawberries at 4 degree Celsius for upto 10 days whereas coronavirus survived on lettuce for only 2 days and completely not recovered from strawberries after inoculation. Food safety is a shared responsibility and everyone has a role to play ranging from government and producers to consumers. All food industry organizations should strictly follow the protocols of Food Safety Management Systems. And for the consumers, we can do a lot by changing the little things. Personal hygiene needs to be taken care of including the cleanliness of utensils, vehicles and other food workstations should be taken into consideration.

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