World Health Organization Highlights Ways To Avoid Foodborne Illness

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported the harmful bacteria, viruses, and substances found in unsafe food cause over 200 diseases and an estimated two million deaths each year. Right now, a drug-resistant form of dysentery is currently circulating in the U.S. — so it makes sense safe food is the highlight of this year’s World Health Day.

Food processing, packaging, point of sale, and preparation for consumers all factor into safe food. To WHO, “safe food keeps people healthy, communities productive, and economies strong.” And people all over the world need food, “so we must all take steps to make our food safe, from farm to plate.”

Today, WHO’s country offices are hosting events to help spread the word on safe food. In Vietnam, the local office taught people how to prepare and plate the country’s signature dish, pho (beef noodle soup), at a food fair. In the Philippines, chicken is roasted straight from the chiller to avoid diseases, like Salmonella. And in France, Chef Jean-Marc Roman buys meats and cheese from local vendors to ensure fresh, top quality food.

There are five keys to make safe food anywhere in the world: Keep hands and surface areas clean; separate raw and cooked food, using separate utensils to handle each; cook each item thoroughly; keep food at safe temperatures; and use safe water and raw materials.

“Raw materials, including water and ice, may be contaminated with dangerous microorganisms and chemicals,” reported WHO. “Care in selection of raw materials and simple measures, such as washing and peeling, may reduce the risk.”

Check out WHO’s infographic below for more information on how to tell if your food (and your health) is safe, or not.

By Stephanie Castillo for medicaldaily.com