The truth about how much we eat and how much meat we eat
The food industry is using science to determine how much food is safe to eat and what levels of meat consumption should be considered safe.
The latest update from the World Health Organization, which released its first Food Safety Facts report in January, suggests that consumers can have an even clearer idea of the safety levels of foods they consume, and the levels of food contamination that occur when they do.
Food Safety Facts 2015 also showed that the US consumes around $US10.6 trillion in food every year.
The World Health Organisation has suggested that as the number of Americans who suffer from food allergies and food intolerances rises, the need for food safety measures to protect against this will increase.
“We need to understand how food is made, processed and stored and how we can improve food safety to ensure the health of everyone who consumes it,” said Dr Mark Hyman, director of food safety and food quality for the World Trade Organization.
The World Health report notes that a significant number of food contaminants can be found in meat, eggs, dairy, seafood and poultry, which are the main sources of foodborne diseases in the US.
“The most important and most urgent challenge we face is the global epidemic of food borne diseases,” said World Health.
“As our population ages, food waste and food wastage will become a major challenge, with food waste contributing to rising food insecurity and malnutrition, foodborne infections and antibiotic resistant infections,” the report added.
“At the same time, the food we eat has become a more accessible and cost effective source of food for most people in the world, and we need to act now to prevent foodborne illness and food-borne infections.”
Dr Hyman said the Food Safety Standards were a first step towards improving food safety in the global food supply chain.
“In the US, meat, egg, dairy and poultry are a major source of contamination.
The new Food Safety Fact report shows that we need a new approach to food safety, with the aim of developing a global food safety framework and implementing it globally,” he said.
The report also said the global burden of food-related illnesses rose from a high of 9 billion in 2010 to more than 30 billion by 2030.
“While this is a big rise, the real number of people affected by these diseases will likely increase as more people become aware of the dangers associated with the consumption of these foods,” Dr Hyman noted.
“Most of the world’s population still lacks access to adequate and safe food and that’s why the World Food Programme and UNICEF are leading the fight against food-safety failures and the need to tackle the causes of these diseases.”
Dr Mark Hymon, director, food safety at the World Organization for Animal HealthDr Mark H. Hyman is the director of nutrition at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and a global health specialist.
He is also a professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where he serves as president and executive director of the Texas Center for Food Policy and Research.
Follow Dr Hymon on Twitter: @MarkHymonAAP