Food Safety and impact on human health

Food Safety and impact on human health

Question:-The issue of food safety is considered to be crucial among the people from the health point of view. What are the effects of the lack of food safety on human beings? Also mention few key steps to achieve a good safety.

Food Safety is described as a process wherein the food is stored, prepared and handled in such a way that it prevents the illness caused by food.

In India, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India was established under the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006. It is a regulating body which looks after the food safety and food standards in India.

Due to increase in the number of food poisoning cases being reported, it has become necessary to ensure a food safety in India.

Effects of ineffective food security on human beings

- Food poisoning – It is most common kind of ill effect on the health of people caused due to lack of food safety. It causes nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea and headache.

Flu is a major effect of food poisoning. It is a virus that causes fever, cough and extreme tiredness in human body. It is easily spread through the air by cough or sneeze. Lack of food safety causes severe headaches which is one of the major symptom of having flu.

- Failure of the kidneys – Due to improper food safety, contaminated food can create an infection in the digestive system which produces toxic substances to destroy the red cells. The infection is known as Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) which causes the failure of kidney function. Children are mostly prone to this disease due to food contamination.

- Effects on the Nervous system – Sometimes, the immune system of a person attacks the body's own nerves. It is caused due to intake of improper or unhygienic food. It can result in paralysis of the body that lasts for several weeks.

- Chronic Arthritis – Unhygienic food can cause infection and develop pain in the joints of people suffering from Salmonella. It attacks the human body by causing an irritation to the eyes and painful urination. It can continue for several years.

Key Steps to achieve good food safety

- Maintain cleanliness – All the restaurants and hotels in the country should strictly follow the concept of working in a clean environment. People should work in a hygienic condition and should wash the vegetables before cooking. This step should also be adopted in every household to prevent the food borne diseases.

- Storage of food – The food should be stored safely in order to avoid food adulteration. While storing the eggs, fish or meat, the refrigerator temperature should be set at 40 degree Celsius or more colder to stay fresh.

- Safe water – One of the main step to achieve food safety is to use the safe and clean water. The access to safe water is a major problem during the flood, earthquake or any other natural disaster. Steps should be taken by the government in order to provide safe drinking water to the affected people during such situations.

- Avoiding the expiry materials – This is a major problem that people think of while having food in the restaurants. The food makers in the restaurants should check the expiry dates of every packed food items or food preparing items.

- Cooling of leftovers – Most of the restaurants usually prepare the leftover food and give to the customers. This can cause a great ill effect on the health of the customers. To avoid such instances, the leftover should be cooled immediately and store it in the refrigerator.

- Regular checking – There should be a frequent check by the food inspection department in all the restaurants to avoid the supply of unhygienic food.

Facts and Figures

- The food borne and waterborne diarrhoeal disease kills around 2 million people annually around the globe.

- Around 40% of the food items which were tested by the government labs in Chennai in 2013-2014 were either adulterated or misbranded.

- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India was established under the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006.

- The ISO 22000 is a standard which is developed by the International Organization for Standardization to deal with food safety.
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