Food Safety: a Health Issue

Topics: Food safety, Food, Foodborne illness Pages: 4 (1001 words) Published: May 17, 2008
Food safety
A major Health Issue

What is Food Safety?
Food Safety is all conditions and actions necessary to ensure the safety of food at all stages. This refers to the conditions and practices to prevent contamination and food-borne illnesses. (FDA) Food safety is an essential health function. Food can be contaminated and judged unsafe in many ways. Contamination can occur during the packaging process, by inadequate cooking or storage. Also, different food products may already have different microorganisms such as bacteria or parasites which may be allowed to multiply and cause disease if food is not appropriately handled.

With regard to whether or not food safety is currently a problem the answer is clearly, yes. The concern is that daily, people get sick with what is interchangeably called food-borne disease or illness from the food they eat. Specifically, food-borne illness has a severe affect on infants, young children, the elderly and the sick. In both developing and developed countries, it is a strain on health care systems.(CDC) Not only does food-borne illness affect physical condition, but economically, individuals, communities, businesses, and countries are effected by food safety problems. Every continent currently faces this problem. (WHO) Food production, processing, distribution, and preparation present challenges to food safety (WHO)

Data and Investigative Information
Being that food safety is an increasingly important public health issue, it is imperative that governments intensify their efforts to improve food safety. These efforts should be in response to an increasing number of food safety problems and rising consumer concerns. (WHO) The effect of food-borne illness is widespread, impacting the public globally. According to the World Health Organization in the USA approximately “76 million cases, resulting in 325,000 hospitalizations and 5000 deaths” (WHO) occur yearly in the United States. This is tremendous considering...
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