[WATCH] Food safety campaign launched on World Health Day

Food safety leaflets will be available from butcher shops and the campaign will continue throughout the year

Head of the Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention •Photo by Ray Attard
Head of the Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention •Photo by Ray Attard
Food safety campaign launched on World Health Day • Video by Ray Attard

The World Health Organization has chosen food safety as the theme for this year's World Health Day because there are still many cases of diseases caused by food, said Charmaine Gauci, head of the Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.

"This theme was chosen since so many people are still affected by diseases from food, with over 200 diseases originating from food and some two million people dying of such diseases every year."

Gauci explained that although the numbers were not so high locally, thanks to readily available treatment, there were still some 400 cases of food poisoning reported last year.

"We cannot forget that many cases remain unreported and surprisingly, around 63% of outbreaks stem from residential sources rather than restaurants," Gauci said, explaining that the leaflets being distributed as part of the campaign were aimed at informing those who prepare their own food about the healthiest practises.

Addressing journalists in front of the law courts, Gauci explained that the leaflets would be a available at local butcher shops and as well as a stand set up to mark the occasion.

"The campaign will also feature social media and it will continue for a week, but we will continue to promote the theme for the coming year," she said.

Gauci explained that the leaflet provided information about salmonella and campylobacter, the most common microbes, and how to avoid them using four simple steps: separation of raw ingredients, washing, temperature attention and cooking poultry through.

"This project is a collaboration with the Department of Environmental Health, which is also playing its part to ensure more awareness is raised."

Jason Mifsud, of the Environmental Health Department, said that the department was also conducting a survey to assess what the most common problems were.

"The department also ensures inspections of restaurants and shops occur as well as a risk assessment scheme to assess the quality of food in various locations." he added, explaining the those who don't conform with regulations would be notified and ultimately taken to court if the regulations weren't followed.

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