Who is responsible for ensuring that the food we eat is safe?
Everyone involved in the food chain, from the primary producer to the consumer has a role to play in ensuring the safety of the food we eat. The food industry and government work together to deliver food that is safe to consumers. The important, and sometimes forgotten, role of the consumer is to maintain the safety of that food by using safe food handling practices.
How many cases of foodborne illness occur in Canada each year?
The most recent estimate is approximately 1 million cases each year. However, as many as 96 to 99 percent of foodborne illness and deaths due to foodborne illness are not reported. This is due to the fact that people often mistaken foodborne illness for the flu since many symptoms are similar: stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, chills, fever, and headache. Symptons of foodborne illness can appear anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 weeks after an individual has come in contact with foodborne bacteria, although it usually happens in the first 4 to 48 hours. This delay makes it difficult to link an illness with a food-related cause.
FACTORS INVOLVED IN FOOD-BORNE ILLNESS
Sources of Contamination:
Transmission: Food-borne illness is spread by:
AIR PEOPLE EQUIPMENT ANIMALS/PETS
FOODS – foods with a neutral pH – higher pH isn’t as risky
PEOPLE – the elderly
– very young children
– people with weakened immune systems
PLACES – nursing homes
– day care centres