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Focus on getting food to you safely:WHO

images (2)Globalization of food trade and distribution has led to food borne illnesses becoming a threat to the health of people across the world, while threatening the economy too. Millions of people are afflicted by these diseases and thousands die every year. In most cases, these diseases and deaths could be prevented. To achieve this, the World Health Organization (WHO) has decided to dedicate this World Health Day and the following year to issues relating to food safety.
With its theme “from farm to plate, make the food safe” the Health Day is being observed across the globe on Tuesday. The day is commemorated every year on April 7 to mark the setting up of the World Health Organisation in 1948.The purpose is to highlight challenges in the health sector, review the response and debate strategies to defeat health hazards.
WHO Director General Dr Margaret Chan in a message said food production had been industrialized and its trade and distribution globalised. These changes have the potential for food to become contaminated with harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemicals.Posting on Twitter, he wrote, “On World Health Day, I pray that all of you remain in the best of health & at the same time inspire others to lead a healthy life.”He added, “Theme of this year’s World Health Day, Food Safety is an essential pre-condition for good health & we all must focus on it.”“Govt is working tirelessly to realise the dream of a Healthy India where every citizen has access to proper & affordable healthcare.”“A local food safety problem can rapidly become an international emergency. Investigation of an outbreak of food-borne disease is vastly more complicated when a single plate or package of food contains ingredients from multiple countries,” she said.”Food borne diseases are a big health issue in all developing countries. It is a direct reflection of the hygiene and safety standards practiced in the country. While there are a lot of measures that can be taken at every step in the supply chain, many of the precautions can also be taken by the consumers or those handling the food,” said Dr Prashant Joshi, head of medicine department at Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital (IGGMCH).
He said that almost all of these diseases can be prevented through practices as simple as washing ones hands properly. “At the same time, it is important to eliminate pests like flies, rodents and cockroaches that cause many of these diseases,” he added.