Is the food on your plate safe? Contaminated food claims 420,000 lives yearly

Image captured from World Health Organization
  • Sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food is key to sustaining life, promoting good health
  • Unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, and chemical substances can cause over 200 diseases
  • An estimated 420,000 people die every year due to eating contaminated food; 125,000 of which are children below five years old

Are you sure that the food on your plate is safe? Well, you better be sure.

Image captured from World Health Organization

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, and chemical substances can cause a number of diseases.

“Access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food is key to sustaining life and promoting good health. Unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, and chemical substances can cause more than 200 different diseases–ranging from diarrhea to cancers,” it noted.

“Around the world, an estimated 600 million–almost one in 10 people–fall ill after eating contaminated food each year, resulting in 420, 000 deaths and the loss of 33 million healthy life years,” it added.

The international organization explained that food safety, nutrition, and food security are closely linked.

“Unsafe food creates a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition, particularly affecting infants, young children, elderly, and the sick,” it further stated.

With this, a set of guidelines called “five keys to safer food” was launched:

Image via World Health Organization

“While food safety is a shared responsibility, individual consumers and food handlers play a huge role in preventing foodborne diseases. ‘Five keys to safer food’ messages were therefore developed, and validated by an independent body of international scientists, to empower all consumers worldwide with a simple and applicable set of actions to prevent foodborne disease,” the WHO stated.