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      Food Safety in Low and Middle Income Countries

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          Abstract

          Evidence on foodborne disease (FBD) in low and middle income countries (LMICs) is still limited, but important studies in recent years have broadened our understanding. These suggest that developing country consumers are concerned about FBD; that most of the known burden of FBD disease comes from biological hazards; and, that most FBD is the result of consumption of fresh, perishable foods sold in informal markets. FBD is likely to increase in LMICs as the result of massive increases in the consumption of risky foods (livestock and fish products and produce) and lengthening and broadening value chains. Although intensification of agricultural production is a strong trend, so far agro-industrial production and modern retail have not demonstrated clear advantages in food safety and disease control. There is limited evidence on effective, sustainable and scalable interventions to improve food safety in domestic markets. Training farmers on input use and good practices often benefits those farmers trained, but has not been scalable or sustainable, except where good practices are linked to eligibility for export. Training informal value chain actors who receive business benefits from being trained has been more successful. New technologies, growing public concern and increased emphasis on food system governance can also improve food safety.

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          Most cited references102

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          A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010

          The Lancet, 380(9859), 2224-2260
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            Burden of disease from inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene in low- and middle-income settings: a retrospective analysis of data from 145 countries

            Objective To estimate the burden of diarrhoeal diseases from exposure to inadequate water, sanitation and hand hygiene in low- and middle-income settings and provide an overview of the impact on other diseases. Methods For estimating the impact of water, sanitation and hygiene on diarrhoea, we selected exposure levels with both sufficient global exposure data and a matching exposure-risk relationship. Global exposure data were estimated for the year 2012, and risk estimates were taken from the most recent systematic analyses. We estimated attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) by country, age and sex for inadequate water, sanitation and hand hygiene separately, and as a cluster of risk factors. Uncertainty estimates were computed on the basis of uncertainty surrounding exposure estimates and relative risks. Results In 2012, 502 000 diarrhoea deaths were estimated to be caused by inadequate drinking water and 280 000 deaths by inadequate sanitation. The most likely estimate of disease burden from inadequate hand hygiene amounts to 297 000 deaths. In total, 842 000 diarrhoea deaths are estimated to be caused by this cluster of risk factors, which amounts to 1.5% of the total disease burden and 58% of diarrhoeal diseases. In children under 5 years old, 361 000 deaths could be prevented, representing 5.5% of deaths in that age group. Conclusions This estimate confirms the importance of improving water and sanitation in low- and middle-income settings for the prevention of diarrhoeal disease burden. It also underscores the need for better data on exposure and risk reductions that can be achieved with provision of reliable piped water, community sewage with treatment and hand hygiene.
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              Food-borne diseases — The challenges of 20 years ago still persist while new ones continue to emerge

              The burden of diseases caused by food-borne pathogens remains largely unknown. Importantly data indicating trends in food-borne infectious intestinal disease is limited to a few industrialised countries, and even fewer pathogens. It has been predicted that the importance of diarrhoeal disease, mainly due to contaminated food and water, as a cause of death will decline worldwide. Evidence for such a downward trend is limited. This prediction presumes that improvements in the production and retail of microbiologically safe food will be sustained in the developed world and, moreover, will be rolled out to those countries of the developing world increasingly producing food for a global market. In this review evidence is presented to indicate that the microbiological safety of food remains a dynamic situation heavily influenced by multiple factors along the food chain from farm to fork. Sustaining food safety standards will depend on constant vigilance maintained by monitoring and surveillance but, with the rising importance of other food-related issues, such as food security, obesity and climate change, competition for resources in the future to enable this may be fierce. In addition the pathogen populations relevant to food safety are not static. Food is an excellent vehicle by which many pathogens (bacteria, viruses/prions and parasites) can reach an appropriate colonisation site in a new host. Although food production practices change, the well-recognised food-borne pathogens, such as Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli, seem able to evolve to exploit novel opportunities, for example fresh produce, and even generate new public health challenges, for example antimicrobial resistance. In addition, previously unknown food-borne pathogens, many of which are zoonotic, are constantly emerging. Current understanding of the trends in food-borne diseases for bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens has been reviewed. The bacterial pathogens are exemplified by those well-recognized by policy makers; i.e. Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes. Antimicrobial resistance in several bacterial food-borne pathogens (Salmonella, Campylobacter, Shigella and Vibrio spp., methicillin resistant Staphylcoccus aureas, E. coli and Enterococci) has been discussed as a separate topic because of its relative importance to policy issues. Awareness and surveillance of viral food-borne pathogens is generally poor but emphasis is placed on Norovirus, Hepatitis A, rotaviruses and newly emerging viruses such as SARS. Many food-borne parasitic pathogens are known (for example Ascaris, Cryptosporidia and Trichinella) but few of these are effectively monitored in foods, livestock and wildlife and their epidemiology through the food-chain is poorly understood. The lessons learned and future challenges in each topic are debated. It is clear that one overall challenge is the generation and maintenance of constructive dialogue and collaboration between public health, veterinary and food safety experts, bringing together multidisciplinary skills and multi-pathogen expertise. Such collaboration is essential to monitor changing trends in the well-recognised diseases and detect emerging pathogens. It will also be necessary understand the multiple interactions these pathogens have with their environments during transmission along the food chain in order to develop effective prevention and control strategies.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Role: Academic Editor
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                ijerph
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                MDPI
                1661-7827
                1660-4601
                27 August 2015
                September 2015
                : 12
                : 9
                : 10490-10507
                Affiliations
                Program Leader Food Safety and Zoonoses, International Livestock Research Institute, P.O. Box 30709, Nairobi 00100, Kenya; E-Mail: d.grace@ 123456cgiar.org ; Tel.: +254-20-422-3460; Fax: +254-20-422-3001
                Article
                ijerph-12-10490
                10.3390/ijerph120910490
                4586623
                26343693
                17a3c8ce-5b80-41e2-89a2-b3c8c08f5184
                © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                History
                : 03 May 2015
                : 20 August 2015
                Categories
                Review

                Public health
                food safety,lmics,equity,health burden
                Public health
                food safety, lmics, equity, health burden

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