Call for safer food and better food control.
The WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (the
FAO) are asking all countries to strengthen their food safety systems. This
could help in the fight against consumer food poisoning which can often be
very serious or even fatal.
The two UN agencies are also appealing to States to be "far more vigilant
regarding foodstuff producers and those who trade in it". And with good
reason. Over the course of the last twelve months, the WHO and the FAO have
conducted investigations into as many as 200 food safety incidents every
Salmonellosis, botulism, listeriosis. The list of diseases is a long one. In
fact, diarrhoea alone - caused by ingesting infected food and drinking
unhealthy water - kills 1.8 million children every year. And although it is the poorer countries that are in the front line when it comes to unsafe food
and water, the developed countries are not far behind. This is mainly
because of fragmented food safety systems which often fail to cover primary
production which is where numerous health safety problems arise". The WHO
and the FAO remind us, for example, that new salmonella strains have been
detected in recent years in poultry originating in developed countries.