AGRICULTURE Food safety at the heart of food system transformation

Unsafe food does not nourish, it harms. Food cannot be considered nutritious if it is not safe. Harmful effects of unsafe food would make it impossible to achieve desired nutrition objectives. Thus, food, if not safe, is not food. While this argument may seem straightforward, given the paucity of evidence and data on foodborne illnesses, food safety receives little attention. It only comes into focus during major outbreaks of foodborne diseases (FBD) causing death, scandals involving deliberate food adulteration, trade bans or widespread consignment rejection due to noncompliance to standards of importing countries. The fact is food safety is a serious public health concern and is central to building a nation’s health.

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