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Enhancing food safety early warning systems in East Africa








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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    The burden of foodborne diseases and the benefits of investing in safe food 2018
    Access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food is a basic requirement for human health. Foodborne hazards include a variety of pathogenic bacteria, viruses, parasites, harmful toxins and chemicals, causing a plethora of diseases from digestive tract infections to cancer. The World Health Organization (WHO) conservatively estimates that 600 million – almost 1 in 10 people in the world – fall ill after eating contaminated food leading to 33 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). This thematic brief for the First FAO/WHO/AU International Food Safety Conference outlines key issues – strategic direction of addressing unsafe food and foodborne diseases.
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    Book (series)
    Assessment and management of seafood safety and quality: current practices and emerging issues
    Current practices and emerging issues
    2014
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    This technical paper compiles the state of knowledge on seafood safety and quality with the aim to provide a succinct yet comprehensive resource book to seafood quality and safety managers, including topics on emerging issues such as new pathogens, the impact of climate change on seafood safety, and the changing regulatory framework. After introductory chapters about world fish production, trade, consumption and nutrition, and about the developments in safety and quality systems, the technical p aper devotes a chapter to a detailed review of the hazards causing public health concerns in fish and fish products, covering biological (pathogenic bacteria, histamine, viruses, parasites and biotoxins), chemical (veterinary drugs, industrial organic contaminants, environmental inorganic contaminants and allergens) and physical hazards. This is followed by a chapter on seafood spoilage and quality issues, while a further chapter covers the likely impact of climate change on seafood safety. The latter chapter focuses on impacts on microbiological safety and on harmful algal blooms. A further chapter provides a detailed coverage of the implementation and certification of seafood safety systems covering risk mitigation and management tools, with a detailed description of the requirements for the implementation of: good hygiene practices and good manufacturing practices; the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system; and the monitoring programmes to control biotoxins, pat hogenic bacteria and viruses and chemical pollutants. It concludes with a section on private labelling and certification schemes. The subsequent chapter details the international framework, covering the World Trade Organization, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, and the World Organisation for Animal Health. It then presents the regulatory frameworks governing seafood trade in the European Union (Member Organization), the United States of Americ a, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
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    Article
    Human dietary exposure to chemicals in sub-Saharan Africa: safety assessment through a total diet study 2020
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    Background Human dietary exposure to chemicals can result in a wide range of adverse health effects. Some substances might cause non-communicable diseases, including cancer and coronary heart diseases, and could be nephrotoxic. Food is the main human exposure route for many chemicals. We aimed to assess human dietary exposure to a wide range of food chemicals. Methods We did a total diet study in Benin, Cameroon, Mali, and Nigeria. We assessed 4020 representative samples of foods, prepared as consumed, which covered more than 90% of the diet of 7291 households from eight study centres. By combining representative dietary surveys of countries with findings for concentrations of 872 chemicals in foods, we characterised human dietary exposure. Findings Exposure to lead could result in increases in adult blood pressure up to 2·0 mm Hg, whereas children might lose 8·8–13·3 IQ points (95th percentile in Kano, Nigeria). Morbidity factors caused by coexposure to aflatoxin B1 and hepatitis B virus, and sterigmatocystin and fumonisins, suggest several thousands of additional liver cancer cases per year, and a substantial contribution to the burden of chronic malnutrition in childhood. Exposure to 13 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from consumption of smoked fish and edible oils exceeded levels associated with possible carcinogenicity and genotoxicity health concerns in all study centres. Exposure to aluminium, ochratoxin A, and citrinin indicated a public health concern about nephropathies. From 470 pesticides tested across the four countries, only high concentrations of chlorpyrifos in smoked fish (unauthorised practice identified in Mali) could pose a human health risk. Interpretation Risks characterised by this total diet study underscore specific priorities in terms of food safety management in sub-Saharan Africa. Similar investigations specifically targeting children are crucially needed.

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