Today we recognize World Health Day.  Every year, the World Health Organization chooses an area of global public health concern as the theme. This year’s theme is food safety, an important issue to people across the world, as something can go wrong anywhere along the food production chain. The CDC estimates that in the United States, as many as 48 million people contract foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die every year. 

How We Can Improve Food Safety:

Global traceability:  FDA inspects less than two percent of imported food at U.S. ports or borders. When it does inspect, it sometimes finds unsafe chemicals, microbial pathogens, and other food safety concerns.

  •  About 50 percent of fresh fruits, 20 percent of fresh vegetables, and 90 percent of seafood is imported into the United States.
  •  FDA estimates that at least one third of seafood is mislabeled.

What needs to be done?

Improved food tracking systems can spot problems more quickly.

What can you do?

  •  When possible, buy locally grown food, or at least food produced in the United States. Ask store managers where certain foods come from.

Antibiotic resistance:

  •  Each year in the United States, 29 million pounds of antibiotics are added to animal feed, which is 80 percent of all antibiotics sold.
  •  Antibiotics vital to protecting human health are commonly used in farm animals for non-therapeutic purposes.

What needs to be done?

  •  Strong regulations are needed to prohibit the use of antibiotics for non-therapeutic purposes in farm animals.
  •  Government agencies should improve surveillance of emerging strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

 What can you do?

  •  When possible, purchase meats from animals raised without antibiotics.

To learn more about food safety from farm to plate:

If you’d like to acquire the ultimate guide for consumers on food safety, go to: