Food safety is everyone’s concern

Editorial

WE take food safety for granted until one gets food poisoning and we realised the food we had consumed is the cause.
Food is the starting point for our energy, our health and our well-being.
Food safety has a critical role in assuring that food stays safe at every stage of the food chain –
from production to harvest, processing, storage, distribution, all the way to preparation and consumption.
Unsafe food contains harmful bacteria, viruses and parasites, chemical substances, causes more than 200 diseases ranging from diarrhea to cancer.
There is no food security without food safety.
In a world where the food supply chain has become more complex, any adverse food safety incident may have global negative effects on public health, trade and the economy.
The global burden of foodborne diseases is considerable and affects individuals of all ages, in particular children under five years of age, and persons living in low-income regions of the world.
Today, PNG joins the rest of the world in recognising World Food Safety Day (WFSD).
It is day that we must to take note and recognise the importance of food safety in their homes and communities.
With an estimated 600 million cases of foodborne illnesses annually, unsafe food is a threat to human health and economies, disproportionally affecting vulnerable and marginalised people, especially women and children, populations affected by conflict, and migrants.
An estimated three million people around the world – in developed and developing countries – die every year from food and waterborne disease.
Children under 5 years of age carry 40 per cent of the foodborne disease burden, with 125,000 deaths every year.
Diarrheal diseases are the most common illnesses resulting from the consumption of contaminated food, causing 550 million people to fall ill and 230,000 deaths every year.
Food safety, nutrition and food security are inextricably linked.
Unsafe food creates a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition, particularly affecting infants, young children, elderly and the sick.
We often take for granted that it is safe, but in an increasingly complex and interconnected world where food value chains are growing longer, standards and regulations are that much more important in keeping us safe.
The United Nations believe that improving food safety contributes positively to trade, employment and poverty alleviation.
By recognising this day here in PNG, this gives everyone the opportunity to strengthen efforts to ensure the food we ate was safe.
Department of Agriculture and Livestock acting secretary, Daniel Kombuk stressed in his message whether you produce or process, sell or prepare food, you have a role in keeping it safe. Everybody along the food chain is responsible for food safety.
It is important that governments ensure safe and nutritious food for all. In doing so, agriculture and food producers need to adopt good practices.
Business operators must also make sure food is safe.
Today, food is processed in great volumes and travels long distances.
Good governance and regulation are essential to food safety.
Keeping food safe is a complex process that starts on the farm and ends with the consumer.
Good collaboration between governments, producers and consumers helps ensure food safety.
Food supply chains now cross multiple national borders.
All stages of the food chain, from production, harvest and storage to preparation and consumption, must be considered.
Food safety is a shared responsibility from production to consumption.

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