World Food Safety Day: The dangers of eating contaminated food

World Food Safety Day: The dangers of eating contaminated food

We look at the dangers of consuming contaminated food and what leads to food contamination on this World Food Safety Day. 

Woman looking at food
Woman looking at food /iStock

Today marks World Food Safety Day. The World Health World Organisation has announced this year's theme as: “Safer food, better health". 

The World Health Organisation reports that an estimated 600-million – almost 1 in 10 people in the world – fall ill after eating contaminated food and 420,000 die every year. 

Unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances causes more than 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhoea to cancers, states the World Health Organisation. 

READ: LIST: Food to eat to avoid bloating

Unsafe foods contribute to other poor health conditions. 

Food is a source of nutrients which helps the body to grow and develop. 

However, contaminated food interferes with growth and development. It is a major cause of diarrhoea. According to Pub Med,  an estimated 3.2-million children die annually as a result of diarrhoea diseases while hundreds of millions more suffer from frequent episodes of diarrhoea and impaired nutritional status.

So, contaminated foods increase micronutrient deficiencies. 

According to Centers for Disease and Control, scientists have identified more than 250 foodborne diseases. CDC estimates that each year 48-million people get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalised, and 3,000 die.

Eating contaminated food can also contribute to mental illness, according to WHO.  

It is therefore important to be mindful of what you eat and to check how the food is prepared. 

AZoLifeSciences states that there are four main routes to food contamination: cross-contamination, improper hand washing, inappropriate storage and temperatures, and contamination by animal waste. 

READ: How that cup of tea can do wonders for your health

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