April 7 is World Health Day

World Health DayWorld Health Day is celebrated every year on April 7 to mark the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) and promote health awareness globally. Each year, WHO chooses a theme that showcases a priority area of public health and this year, the subject is food safety. This April 7, countries across the world will observe World Health Day under the slogan “From farm to plate, make food safe”.

According to WHO’s press release, new evidence on the harm caused by foodborne illnesses underscores the dangers posed by unsafe foods. Over 200 diseases are caused by unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, parasites, viruses, and chemical substances.

It is estimated that two million deaths occur every year from contaminated food or drinking water. WHO stresses the need for coordinated, global action across the entire food supply chain. Examples of unsafe food include undercooked foods of animal origin, fruits and vegetables contaminated with faeces, and shellfish containing marine biotoxins.

Making food safe from farm to plate requires action that spans the entire food supply chain in a globalized world, right from production and transport to preparation and consumption. Producers and distributors, and food handlers should ensure safe food handling practices.

Consumers – the public – also have an important role when it comes to promoting food safety with safe food hygiene. You should learn how to cook specific foods that may pose hazards and scrutinize labels when shopping for and preparing food. Here are WHO’s five keys to safer food that everyone should know about:

  • keep clean
  • separate raw and cooked
  • cook thoroughly
  • keep food at safe temperatures
  • use safe water and raw materials
  • read labels

Other important precautions that those at the consumer and food handling end of the supply chain need to take:

  • keep hands and nails clean
  • keep the kitchen clean
  • handle food safely
  • cook high risk foods to the right temperature

You should also educate yourself about the dangerous microbiological and chemical agents in your region. It’s also important to know about proper food and water safety precautions to take when emergencies like floods, hurricanes or power outages happen. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides precise instructions on this.

Recognizing that health is wealth is the key is necessary to maintain wellness in all stages of your life. Also, health and beauty go hand-in-hand. Even if you want to have an aesthetic procedure, you would be a good candidate only if you are in good health.

Celebrate World Health Day 2015 – make sure that you know that the food on your plate is safe to eat – and healthy too!