When certain disease-causing bacteria, viruses or parasite contaminate food, they can cause food-related diseases. Another word for such a bacterium, virus, or parasite is “pathogen”. Since food-related diseases can be serious, or even fatal, it is important to know and practice safe food-handling behaviors to help reduce the risk of getting sick from contaminated food. According to the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), “food safety is the assurance that food will not cause harm to the consumer when it is prepared and/or eaten according to its intended use”. Foodborne diseases are widespread throughout the world. The process by which a foodborne disease spreads begins with the features of the disease, contaminating the food, which in turn threatens both individual and public health by means of the foods. Healthy, or what can be termed as safe food, is food that has not lost its nutritional value, that is clean, in physical, chemical and microbiological terms and that is not stale. The factors causing the contamination of the food may threaten the safe consumption of it and thereby make the foods harmful to human health. For this reason, it is necessary to utilize various resources to prevent the food from being contaminated in all stages of the food chain, from harvest to consumption. The aim of this chapter is to determine the factors affecting food safety and proffer effective intervention strategies against food-related diseases.
Part of the book: Significance, Prevention and Control of Food Related Diseases