With our country’s broadening palette and increasing desire for different and new types of cuisine, making sure our food is safe and properly prepared is more important than ever. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), unsafe food is linked to the deaths of an estimated 2 million people around the world each year, including many children. The need to strengthen food safety systems in and between all countries is becoming more and more evident. That is why the WHO is promoting efforts to improve food safety, from farm to plate (and everywhere in between) on World Health Day, 7 April 2015.
Food can contain harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances- all of which are responsible for more than 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhea to different types of cancer. From the globalization of our food supply; changes in food production practices; changes in our environment; introduction of new and emerging pathogens; and the threat of antimicrobial resistance, our national food system’s food safety is constantly challenged. Additionally, increases in travel and trade of foods enhance the possibility and spread of contamination, even internationally.
WHO’s Five keys to safer food offer practical guidance to vendors and consumers for handling and preparing food:
- Key 1: Keep clean
- Key 2: Separate raw and cooked food
- Key 3: Cook food thoroughly
- Key 4: Keep food at safe temperatures
- Key 5: Use safe water and raw materials.
The JCPH Food Protection and Safety Program works to prevent foodborne illness outbreaks and assure that Jefferson County citizens and visitors are provided with safe food. For more information on the JCPH food safety services, visit the Food Safety website. For questions, contact Environmental Health Services at 303-271-5700 or the Food Safety Program Manager, Mindi Ramig at firstname.lastname@example.org.