By Tanya Debi
Today is World Health Day. This day of recognition was created by the
World Health Organization (WHO)
, and it is rather fitting that the theme this year is to raise awareness and understanding on food safety and on questions like, where did the ingredients in your food come from? Or, was the food safely handled from farm to factory to street vendor to plate? And, what is in the food that we're eating?
According to the WHO's website
, over 200 diseases are caused by food which contain harmful bacteria, parasites, viruses and many chemical elements.
The Public Health Agency of Canada
estimates that about four million Canadians get sick every year with domestically acquired foodborne illnesses, such as Salmonella, E Coli, Listeria or Norovirus. Having lived through a bout of Listeria myself, I can tell you it was one of the most awful experiences I have ever gone through, and it is troubling to think I contracted it because I ate food that wasn't properly cared for. Even scarier, is that some bacteria are becoming resistant to drug treatments. The overuse of antimicrobials in agriculture and animal farming, is one of the leading factors in the spread of antimicrobial resistance, and these bacteria can be transmitted from animals to humans.
According to a releease
by the WHO in November 2014, The WHO Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan said that "for the first time, the WHO will publish estimates of the global burden of foodborne disease and this will finally show the scale of the problem." I, for one, am very interested to see what the results are. So what can
do to make our food safe, you ask?
We can start with our own food prep
. We should all take some time (if we don't already), to follow the tips below and make our food a healthier and safer part of our lives. You can also participate in an online discussion on April 7
, across various social media platforms using
, while sharing images and stories related to your safe food experiences. You can also share what food safety means in your town, or you can show what it means by taking a photo of your favorite plate of safe food.
Share the word and stay informed about the food you eat.
Check out these informative videos on food health and safety.
How safe is your food?
The WHO introduces the viewer to the global view of food safety. The video touches on globalization and on our role in making food safe. [HTML1]
Five keys to safer food
Who doesn't love an educational, animated film? This one hits all the right buttons, as it reiterates our power in making food safe from every age and informs us on how to prevent foodborne diseases. [HTML2]
How safe is x-ray inspection for food?
This form of inspection is still fairly new and some food processors are still hesitant to try this new method. Some people argue that with this form of inspection, radiation could become a serious problem. The video tackles the myths about this interesting approach to food inspection. [HTML3]
Food safety for adults 60+
Health Canada has many videos about meal planning, healthy eating and food safety. Some foods are at a higher risk for foodborne illness than others, and this video provides information on the foods to avoid, and tips to help keep food safe. [HTML4]
Do you think that you know everything there is to know about food safety?
Take this short quiz on the WHO website
and see how much you know about food care. Let us know your results!