WHO publishes report on global burden of foodborne disease

foodborneDecember 16, 2015

"Safer food saves lives. With every bite one eats, one is potentially exposed to illness from either microbiological or chemical contamination. Billions of people are at risk and millions fall ill every year; many die as a result ofconsumingunsafe food."

According to a new report published by the World Health Organization (WHO), foodborne illness affects one in every ten people worldwide each year. The report, as well as its complementary Fact Sheet, shares the key causes of foodborne illness, including viruses, parasites, bacteria, and chemicals worldwide. The report also highlights regional differences between the foodborne disease burdens, reporting that the highest burden of such illnesses is in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. 

The evidence and analysis reported are the product of seven years of research; a special working group developed by WHO to address these issues, the Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG); and country studies in Albania, Japan, Thailand, and Uganda. Using this evidence, national public health institutes, as well as other national policy-makers, will be equipped to address pressing foodborne health challenges.
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