WHO chiefs discuss local food safety issues

Regional World Well being Group (WHO) leaders used World Meals Security Day to spotlight subjects necessary of their nations.

Takeshi Kasai, WHO regional director for the Western Pacific, stated conventional markets are a key a part of the meals system.

“They play an necessary financial, cultural and social position within the Asia Pacific area and are a supply of livelihood for hundreds of thousands of individuals in each city and rural areas. Wholesome and secure conventional meals markets might be achieved by implementing measures primarily based on dangers recognized out there. When managed correctly they supply entry to secure, wholesome, nutritious and culturally applicable meals they usually play a job in selling well being and stopping illnesses, particularly amongst susceptible teams,” he stated.

When managed improperly, meals markets might be unsafe environments and even pose well being dangers associated to meals security and zoonoses threats.

“Whether or not you’re a shopper or work in a meals market there are easy measures you possibly can take to mitigate the dangers in conventional meals markets. Sustaining good private hygiene habits, keep away from mixing uncooked and ready-to-eat meals, examine if meals are secure and appropriate for consumption earlier than consuming them and decrease contact with reside animals in markets and comply with native public well being measures to forestall the unfold of infectious illnesses,” he stated.

Within the Western Pacific area, greater than 125 million folks fall in poor health and 50,000 die yearly from unsafe meals.

“Many meals issues of safety lengthen past the well being sector and require a multi-sectoral strategy. Native actions, typically primarily based on novel options, will assist us to attain this. Concerted efforts on meals security will assist nations mitigate the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic and enhance their resilience in the long run by facilitating and accelerating meals and agricultural commerce, serving to to forestall the subsequent zoonotic pandemic and reworking meals programs. Guaranteeing meals security for all is a shared duty which includes the participation of many actors from totally different sectors together with customers,” stated Kasai.  

Efforts in South-East Asia
Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director of WHO South-East Asia, stated efforts had been made to extend entry to secure and wholesome meals, in keeping with the Framework for Motion on Meals Security.

“In all nations of the area, nationwide Codex committees proceed to facilitate multi-sectoral motion to strengthen meals security. 5 of the area’s 11 member states have begun implementing group or particular person Codex Belief Fund tasks, with extra set to comply with. Six – Bhutan, Indonesia, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste – have already developed nationwide meals security plans which are aligned with the Regional Framework for Motion and the International Meals Security Technique,” she stated.

“In 2021, WHO carried out a sequence of meals safety-focused workshops and conferences within the area, together with on threat mitigation in conventional meals markets, advancing implementation of the Framework for Motion, addressing AMR as a meals security difficulty, and mitigating the impacts of COVID-19.”

The WHO South-East Asia area accounts for 150 million diseases and 175,000 deaths per 12 months from unsafe meals.

Singh stated all stakeholders should act and momentum was sturdy, however folks should push more durable and quicker.

“First, policymakers can provoke and/or help measures to strengthen nationwide meals security programs, with a deal with enhancing authorized frameworks and compliance. Second, meals companies can higher have interaction staff, suppliers and different stakeholders to nurture and develop a tradition of meals security. Particular focus must be placed on reaching full compliance with worldwide meals requirements,” she stated.

“Third, instructional establishments and workplaces can intensify efforts to advertise secure meals dealing with and have interaction with and contain households in meals security actions. Fourth, customers ought to follow secure meals dealing with at dwelling, following WHO’s 5 Keys to Safer Meals: hold clear, separate uncooked and cooked, prepare dinner totally, hold meals at secure temperatures, and use secure and uncooked supplies.

“Eventually 12 months’s UN Meals Methods Summit, nations from the area and the world over dedicated to rework meals programs, making certain such programs will not be solely resilient, inclusive and sustainable, but in addition wholesome and secure. WHO is dedicated to reaching that end result, which can in flip scale back the disproportionate influence of foodborne sickness on infants and younger youngsters, the aged and sick, and diminish wider socioeconomic results.”

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