It was stated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that each year, as many as 600 million people in the world fall ill after consuming contaminated food.
Dr Margaret Chan, WHO’s Director-General, said that of these millions of people, four hundred and twenty thousand (420, 000) die, including one hundred and twenty five (125, 000) children under the age of five years.
Dr Chan stated that “the burden of foodborne diseases is a public health concern globally, Africa and South-East Asia Regions have the highest incidence and highest death rates, including among children under the age of five years, despite the fact that they make up only 9 per cent of the global population”.
The report estimates the burden of foodborne diseases caused by 31 agents – bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins and chemicals.
Until now, estimates of foodborne diseases were vague and imprecise. This concealed the true human costs of contaminated food.
This report sets the record straight, knowing which foodborne pathogens are causing the biggest problems in which parts of the world. It can generate targeted action by the public, governments, and the food industry,” Dr Chan said.