Food Hygiene: Not Only a Privilege

     People living in the first world have always heard the term “Do not take what you have for granted” but majority of them fail to really appreciate this common saying. It is a very unfortunate and yet striking fact that currently there are over 40 military conflicts taking place throughout all parts of the world. This meaning that there are hundreds of thousands of innocent people being displaced from their homes along with millions of casualties every year. Poverty, sickness, and psychological scarring are only few things that await those that do happen to survive the horrible bloodshed. Thus, the poverty that is present is saturated with food oriented issues; one of the most important is the lack of hygiene.

     To begin, according to the World Health Organization, today there are over 2 billion people (almost a third of world’s population) that are unable to have access to clean sanitation. The vicious cycle caused by the interlinking between contaminated food and water with combination of malnutrition and poor hygiene has been a burden on some of the world’s societies for generations. The absence of asepsis in food products and in drinking water can cause alarming diseases that are bound to attack all parts of the human body. Most disease-causing contaminants that are found in food are viruses, parasites, and most commonly microorganisms or bacteria that can enter the body via many entries. Some of these microorganisms are A.hydrophila, B.cereu, C.jejuni, C.botulinum, C.perfringes, and E.coli. These microbes have the potential to inflict serious negative effects on human health including gastrointestinal inflammation, abdominal cramps, severe vomiting, muscle pain, and in some cases even death. There are shockingly 4 billion diarrhoea cases per year in developing world that are caused by infectious diseases with 2.2 million resulting in death.

     Furthermore, the most dangerous part of bacteria-linked illnesses is that humans are unable to visually spot them. They are virtually invisible to the naked eye. In developed countries, people are privileged enough to have access to technological advances that help regulate and keep dangerous contaminants below the level of concern. However, in parts of the world where antiseptic techniques are not significantly focused on or available, it is extremely easy to catch one of these deadly contaminants. An estimated 1.5 million children under the age of 5 die annually due to the fact that their immune system is incapable of resisting the advancement of these food related contaminants. Regions such as South East Asia, Central Africa, and certain areas in Central and South America are prone to sicknesses related to dirty water supplies and poor living hygiene that all play a role in the food cleanliness. Perhaps the most astonishing fact is that according to World Health Organization death due to infection and parasitic diseases is ranked second in the world, right after cardiovascular diseases. It even tops deaths caused by cancer, HIV/AIDS, and war.

     On the other hand, the somewhat relieving news is that the amount of death caused by lack of food hygiene can be lowered if right measures are taken by the people that are willing to help. Donations, physical involvement such as volunteering, or even spreading awareness about this topic can benefit these people that are at risk. Providing food products and water supplies that show greater emphasis when it comes to cleanliness can significantly improve the health and therefore lives of these unfortunate individuals. Also, assisting in enhancement and generating more superior food inspection programs in nations in need can notably benefit their citizens as well. Lastly, studies have shown that simple measures such as hygiene education programs can prevent the death of a child and cost considerably less than vast majority of expenditures developing countries spend on health programs (less than one percent).

     When one reaches a helping hand and is able to take initiative in spreading awareness when it comes to world’s biggest issues, only then can they really understand the meaning “Do not take what you have for granted”.

Related Articles/Websites:

http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/hygiene/en/

http://www.personal.psu.edu/afr3/blogs/SIOW/2011/12/importance-of-cleanliness-in-other-countries.html

http://www.safewater.org/PDFS/resourcesknowthefacts/Disease_Causing_Micro_Org.pdf

One Response so far.

  1. Abdullah says:

    Well written. It’s sad to see everyday how many people do take it for granted!

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