Rome (EFE) of Food Safety, which is being held today.
“More than 200 illnesses are caused by the consumption of contaminated food and children under five years of age are at the greatest risk, with 1 in 6 deaths from diarrhea caused by unhealthy food,” the head of FAO Food Safety explained to EFE. , Jorge Pinto.
For the UN body, unsanitary conditions and lack of access to safe food, added to climate disasters, the rapid growth of the world population, forced migration and human conflicts will continue to deepen their impact on the global interdependence of agri-food systems, demonstrating their “fragility”.
Far from reducing this impact, the increase in temperatures or the rise in sea level can “alter the quality of water and its supply, causing diseases”, in addition to reducing the production of “food and interrupting its supply”, also increasing the risk of consuming contaminated food and spreading diseases, warned Pinto.
“Unsafe” food slows development
In addition, “unsafe” food slows down the development and annual productivity of low- and middle-income countries, with a negative global economic impact of some $95 billion, according to FAO data.
Coinciding with World Food Safety Day, FAO has launched a website so that farmers and food businesses, especially in low-income countries, can follow a series of recommendations to improve the hygiene and quality of their products.
This tool, based on the “Codex Alimentarius” of the FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO), is initially available in English, Spanish and French, and includes, among other things, advice on how to wash your hands or the type of clothing to use in places of food production.
“Consumer awareness and general food safety education are often low in developing countries. Investing in training and education is essential to increase food safety in the world”, explained Pinto.
Food technologies, a key role
Food technologies, “if applied correctly”, will have a key role in the process of implementing healthier food networks in less developed countries and “will help, for example, for the consumer to know if water or a product are safe, reducing the presence of foodborne diseases”, he added.
The FAO is also hosting today a dialogue on food quality standards in which expert scientists and political leaders from different countries participate, such as the Minister of Economy of Costa Rica, Francisco Gamboa, or the Undersecretary of Food Security of the United States, José Emilio Esteban.