Tuesday, April 7, 2015

UN/WHO - World Health Day 2015

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann
Today is world health day 2015!

Recognizing widespread food-borne diseases, the UN World Health Organization celebrates food safety this year with the theme: From farm to plate, make food safe.

According to WHO, there are 200 diseases that are caused by unsafe food containing bacteria, chemicals, parasites or viruses (WHO [1a]). And there are an estimated 2 million death per year arising from the consumption of unsafe food or water (WHO [1b])

To combat unsafe food WHO implemented a Five Keys programme for food safety, available in 87 languages: 1. Keep clean to avoid contamination from hands or utensils, 2. Separate raw from cooked food to avoid cross-contamination, 3. Cook thoroughly, 4. Keep food at safe temperatures (no longer than 2 hours at room temperature, store below 5°C or above 60°C before serving), 5. Use safe water and raw materials (WHO [2]).

Food safety standards (Codex Alimentarius) have been developed jointly by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and WHO, covering 186 member states. The Codex endeavors to create harmonized international food safety standards for the protection of consumers. WHO provides scientific information on microbiological and chemical hazards (Codex [1]).

The Codex Alimentarius includes 341 records in its list of standards, including such items as: Guidelines for food labeling, Guidelines for formulated complementary foods for older infants and young children, Standards for canned baby food or Standards for the prevention and reduction of lead contamination in food. (Codex [2]).

Take the WHO Quizz on Food safety to test your IQ! You will receive immediate feedback! 

For more information, see the UN WHO Fact sheet on food safety (WHO [3]).
Good health to you all on World Health day 2015!

WHO [1a] World health day 2015 – Food safety – The gobal view
WHO [1b] World health day 2015 – From farm to plate, make food safe.
WHO [2] Five keys programme for food safety
http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/consumer/en/5keys_en.pdf?ua=1 [English 5 keys flyer]
WHO [3] Fact sheet on food safety
WHO [4] Food safety Quizz
Codex [1] Codex Alimentarius -  Food Safety Standards
Codex [2] Codex Alimentarius – List of standards

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