10 facts on food safety

October 2009

A mother feeds her young son.

Food safety is a public health priority; millions of people fall ill every year and many die as a result of eating unsafe food. Serious outbreaks of foodborne disease have been documented on every continent in the past decade, and in many countries rates of illnesses are increasing significantly.

Key global food safety concerns include:

  • spread of microbiological hazards (including such bacteria as Salmonella or Escherichia coli, e. coli);
  • chemical food contaminants;
  • assessments of new food technologies (such as genetically modified food); and
  • strong food safety systems in most countries to ensure a safe global food-chain.

WHO is working to minimize health risks from farm to table, to prevent outbreaks and to promote 5 keys to food safety.

Read the 10 facts on food safety

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