Health benefits of safe food include improved nutrition and reduced absenteeism in schools and the workplace.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), only when food is safe can we take full advantage of its nutritional value and of the mental and social benefits of sharing a safe meal.
“Unsafe foods are the cause of many diseases and contribute to other ill health problems, such as stunted growth and development, micronutrient deficiencies, non-communicable or communicable diseases and mental illness,” according to the FAO.
Foodborne illnesses affect one in ten people worldwide each year, ranging from diarrhea to cancer. Fortunately, most are preventable.
The way we build food systems and supply chains can prevent infectious and toxic hazards, as well as microbial pathogens (bacteria, viruses and parasites), chemical residues and biotoxins from reaching our plates.
†We need to transform food systems to provide better health, and we need to do this in a sustainable waythe FAO said. “Food systems policymakers, practitioners and investors need to refocus their activities to increase the sustainable production and consumption of safe food.”
The UN agency also recalled that systemic changes for better health will lead to safer food – a critical factor for long-term development and a prerequisite for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).