Health Desk – 08 Jun, 2021: Every year 600 million cases of foodborne illnesses are reported. In 2010, 420 000 people died due to such diseases as salmonella and E.coli infection, a third of them children under five years of age. It is estimated that this figure is increasing year after year, but it is difficult to get a clear picture of the real impact foodborne diseases are having around the world.
To address this problem the World Health Organization has developed a handbook to help countries measure their foodborne disease burden and identify food safety system needs and data gaps so they can strengthen national infrastructure and better protect people’s health.
Food should sustain and support human health, not harm it, said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. WHO’s new handbook will help countries to collect and analyze data to inform sustained investments in food safety. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the intimate links between the health of humans, animals and the planet that sustains us. WHO will continue to work with partners with a One Health approach to keep communities safe from foodborne disease.