- According to a WHO report titled “The Safe Food Imperative: Accelerating Progress in Low- and Middle-Income Countries”, food borne diseases (FBDs) costs India $15 billion annually. Foodborne diseases encompass a wide spectrum of illnesses and are a growing public health problem worldwide. They are the result of ingestion of foodstuffs contaminated with microorganisms or chemicals.
- Globally, Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa have the highest incidence of FBDs, highest rate of deaths due to FBDs and largest loss of disability adjusted life years (DALY). India and China together account for 49% of the total economic burden of FBDs in low and middle income countries (LMIC) and 71% of the total burden in Asia.
- Animal source food is estimated to account for 21% of India’s FBD burden.
- In recent times, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has taken a number of measures to ensure food safety in India. These include a) stringent packaging and labelling norms, b) regulation of restaurant and street food, c) inspections and sampling of food products. FSSAI is the regulatory body for food safety and quality in India
- The report “Safe Food imperative: Accelerating Progress in Low- and Middle-Income Countries” has been recently discussed at the first international food safety conference organised by the WHO ahead of the International Forum on Food Safety and Trade, organized by FAO, WHO and WTO in Geneva in April 2019.
Study food borne diseases cost India $15 billion a year