World Health Day 2015
The World Health Day is celebrated by the people all across the world every year on 7th of April under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO). It aims to draw attention on important health issues facing the world each year. This day marks the anniversary of the World Health Organization which was founded in 1948.
World Health Day theme 2015:
Each year has a new theme and the slogan for the year 2015 World Health Day is FOOD SAFETY.
The day focuses on demonstrating the importance of food safety along the whole length of the food chain in a globalised world, from production and transport, to preparation and consumption.
Why FOOD SAFETY is important?
The great majority of people will experience a food or water borne disease at some point in their lives. It presents a major challenge to both general and at-risk populations. Each year, millions of illnesses in the world can be attributed to contaminated foods.
Unsafe food — food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances — is responsible for more than 200 diseases, and is linked to the deaths of some 2 million people annually, mostly children. These diseases can make people very sick or even be life threatening. It can also lead to poor nutrition.
WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION measures on food safety:
The WHO is promoting improvement of food safety as part of the 2015 World Health Day campaign. WHO have taken measures to communicate simple global health messages to train all types of food handlers and consumers. WHO’s objective is to target those who usually do not have access to food safety education despite the important role they have in producing safe food for their community. Steps are taken to bring changes in food production, distribution and consumption; changes to the environment; new and emerging pathogens; and antimicrobial resistance which pose challenges to food safety systems.
Symptoms of food borne illness or food poisoning:
Diarrhoea is the acute, most common symptom of food borne illness, but other serious consequences include kidney and liver failure, brain and neural disorders, reactive arthritis, cancer and death.
- Food poisoning can be mild or severe.
- The symptoms will be different depending on what type of bacteria is responsible.
- Common symptoms include:
- Joint/back aches
- Abdominal cramps
Conditions for the micro organisms to grow:
Micro-organisms and enzymes need certain conditions to survive and reproduce. These include:
- Temperature – inhibit growth by either chilling or heating;
- Oxygen – deprive oxygen by storing food in air tight containers;
- Food – The food should be cooked and stored properly;
- Time – Avoid leaving food for a long period of time;
- Moisture – reduce moisture content to inhibit growth;
- PH level – Placing food in an acidic or alkaline solution to inhibit bacterial growth.
At what temperature do bacteria grow the fastest?
Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F, ( 4.4°C- 60°C) doubling in number in as little as 20 minutes. This range of temperatures is often called the “Danger Zone.”
High risk foods:
Some foods are high-risk, as they provide the ideal conditions needed for micro-organisms to grow.
- Meat and meat products;
- Milk and dairy products;
- Shellfish and other sea-foods;
If these foods become contaminated with food-poisoning micro-organisms and conditions allow them to multiply, the risk of food-poisoning increases.
High risk groups:
- Pregnant Women
- Young Children
- Elderly people
- People with Immune Systems Weakened by Disease or Medical Treatment
- People with AIDS, cancer, kidney disease, and certain other chronic diseases
- People with a history of alcohol or drug use
You can prevent most cases of food borne illness with these simple steps:
- WASH: Wash your hands often and always before you touch food. Keep your knives, cutting boards, and counters clean. You can wash them with hot, soapy water, or put items in the dishwasher and use a disinfectant on your counter. Wash fresh fruits and vegetables.
- SEPARATE: Bacteria can spread through cross-contamination. This occurs when raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs come in contact with ready-to-eat foods like bread and vegetables, so keep them separate.
- COOK: Make sure that meat, chicken, fish, and eggs are fully cooked. Cooking to proper temperature is important.
- REFRIGERATE: Refrigerate leftovers right away. Cooling foods keeps them out the “danger zone” – between 40°F and 140°F. Don’t leave cut fruits and vegetables at room temperature for a long time.
- When in doubt, throw it out.If you aren’t sure if a food is safe, don’t eat it.
Tips and take home messages:
- Do not leave food at room temperature for more than 1 hour
- Do not refreeze food if it has defrosted
- Cooked food should only be reheated once and avoid reheating again and again
- Do not buy foods that have passed its ‘use by’ date
- Take extra care when washing leafy green produce, such as parsley or lettuce. These are harder to clean thoroughly.
- Follow the above given golden rules : Wash, Separate, Cook, Refrigerate
- Do not buy if the pack is puffed or damaged
- Store food in the correct place, i.e. dry food – in cool, dry clean places and chilled food – in the refrigerator
- Take cold groceries home to the refrigerator quickly as possible to prevent warming up and bacterial growth
- Keep pets away from cooking area
- Stop pests such as cockroaches, mice and lizards by cleaning left over regularly.
- Avoid preparing food when sick or feeling unwell
- Wash fruits and vegetables to be eaten raw under running water