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Parasites in foods: An invisible threat

Food safety technical toolkit for Asia and the Pacific











FAO. 2020. Parasites in foods: An invisible threat. Food safety technical toolkit for Asia and the Pacific, 7. Bangkok. 


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    Book (series)
    Expert consultation on the sustainable management of parasites in livestock challenged by the global emergence of resistance
    Part 2: African animal trypanosomosis and drug resistance: a challenge to progressive, sustainable disease control
    2022
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    African animal trypanosomosis is a vector-borne disease transmitted by tsetse flies and other vectors in 37 African countries. Affecting livestock health and welfare, the disease imposes a heavy burden on communities that rely on domestic animals for their livelihoods. In most endemic areas, trypanosomosis control relies heavily on trypanocidal drugs, which are often the only tool farmers possess to manage the problem. Unfortunately, the few veterinary medicines to treat or prevent the disease are old and outdated, and their efficacy is challenged by the emergence and spread of resistant trypanosome strains. FAO convened experts to discuss how to control African animal trypanosomosis progressively and sustainably in the face of drug resistance. FAO organized the meeting in the framework of an Expert Consultation on the sustainable management of parasites in livestock challenged by the global emergence of resistance. The experts of animal trypanosomosis warned that over 17 countries in Africa have reported treatment failure possibly resulting from trypanocidal drug resistance, which hampers disease control and negatively affects food security and livelihoods. Several factors contribute to the emergence and spread of trypanocidal drug resistance, including drug overuse and misuse, the circulation of fake or substandard products and weak controls along the supply chains. The meeting recommended that national authorities should promote the quality control of trypanocides, raise awareness of rational drug use and strengthen data collection and surveillance. FAO and the other organizations of the Tripartite should develop and disseminate guidelines and best practices, provide a platform for technical and scientific discussions, and they should support advocacy, awareness and resource mobilization at the international level. Academic institutions should improve our understanding of the mechanisms and drivers of resistance and develop more effective tools to monitor and curb the spread of the problem.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Multicriteria-Based Ranking for Risk Management of Food-Borne Parasites. Microbiological Risk Assessment Series (MRA) 23 2014
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    Infectious diseases caused by food-borne parasites have not received the same level of attention as other food-borne biological and chemical hazards. Nevertheless, they cause a high burden of disease in humans, may have prolonged, severe, and sometimes fatal outcomes, and result in considerable hardship in terms of food safety, security, quality of life, and negative impacts on livelihoods. The transmission routes for food-borne parasites are diverse. They can be transmitted by ingesting fresh o r processed foods that have been contaminated via the environment, by animals or people. Additionally, notification to public health authorities is not compulsory for most parasitic diseases, so official reports do not capture the true prevalence or incidence of the diseases, as much underreporting occurs. This report presents the results of a global ranking of food-borne parasites from a food safety perspective. It also provides an overview of the current status of knowledge of the ranked paras ites in food and their public health and trade impact, and provides advice and guidance on the parasite-commodity combinations of particular concern, the issues that need to be addressed by risk managers, and the risk management options available to them. It documents the ranking process used to facilitate its adoption at regional, national, or local levels. This volume and others in this Microbiological Risk Assessment Series contain information that is useful to both risk assessors and risk ma nagers, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, governments and regulatory agencies, food producers and processers and other institutions or individuals with an interest in foodborne parasites and their impact on food safety, public health and livelihoods.
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    Booklet
    A key role for veterinary authorities and animal health practitioners in preventing and controlling neglected parasitic zoonoses
    A handbook with focus on Taenia solium, Trichinella, Echinococcus and Fasciola
    2021
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    Neglected parasitic zoonoses, such as cysticercosis and echinococcosis, are a group of zoonoses that continue to impose a significant burden and affect livelihoods of the vulnerable populations that typically have limited access to adequate sanitation, basic living conditions, health and veterinary services and awareness. Recognising the disease burden and importance of a multisectoral approach to controlling and eliminating neglected parasitic zoonoses, in 2018 the Regional Tripartite jointly organised a regional workshop on neglected foodborne parasitic zoonoses. To control zoonoses in an efficient, effective and sustainable way, it is important to understand the transmission cycle of each disease and to implement strategic interventions at key stages via multisectoral participation from public health, animal health, environmental health and food safety. Prevention and control of infection in animals is one of the critical means to reduce the burden of zoonoses in humans, therefore the animal health sector has a very important role to play. However, awareness and knowledge are often limited among veterinary authorities, public health practitioners, animal health practitioners and animal owners. This handbook focuses on interventions that the animal health sector can implement to prevent human and animal disease caused by these parasites. It aims to provide up-to-date information in a concise form and is expected to encourage the relevant stakeholders to take actions to control and prevent neglected parasitic zoonoses. Although the handbook was written primarily for Asia and the Pacific region, the information is relevant in many other regions. We hope you find this handbook useful and practical.

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