[INFOGRAPHIC] World Health Organization Asks: How Safe Is Your Food?
World Health Day was this week, and if anyone understands that there are many paths to good health, it’s the World Health Organization (WHO). This year the global health agency highlighted the importance of keeping food clean and safe, especially as the distance widens between farms and fisheries to a consumer’s plate.
“Food production has been industrialized and its trade and distribution have been globalized,” says WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan in a press release from the organization launching its From Farm to Plate, Keep Food Safe campaign. “These changes introduce multiple new opportunities for food to become contaminated with harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemicals.”
When food safety is not taken seriously along every step of the supply chain, the outcome can be disastrous—and according to WHO research, the concept of food safety is often not considered until an outbreak happens, leading to statistics like 582 million cases of foodborne diseases around the world in 2010.
“A local food safety problem can rapidly become an international emergency,” adds Dr. Chan. “Investigation of an outbreak of foodborne disease is vastly more complicated when a single plate or package of food contains ingredients from multiple countries.”
How long has our typical food supply chain grown? Check out the World Health Organization’s infographic: