Food safety

Food safety





Food safety is a topic under the healthy people 2020 that I chose to discuss. it is a challenge in the current world where we expect the nation is struggling to contain foodborne diseases.

1. Briefly describe the problem indicating the “burden of disease” including morbidity and mortality and changes that have occurred in recent years.

Food borne illnesses burden the American people by increasing the cost of healthcare. It has been found that approximately 7 percent of the American people (Around 48 million) are affected by food borne illness. The illness also leads to 3000 deaths and 128 000 patients hospitalized. Investigation has been done to identify what makes food contaminated (Carvalho, 2017). Food contamination begins from the farm through processing, production, processing and to consumers. The government has created many bodies in the recent past that aims in mitigating the problems resulting from food contamination. The bodies aim to control and maintain high safety standard in food industries to ensure that the food produced is good for human consumption.

The advancement in technology has promoted the detection and prevention of contamination in food. If you back tract to like 50 years ago, there were few instruments to detect the microbes causing food contamination which have been causing and increasing mortality for many past years. More advanced microscopes have been created that have enabled researchers to identify the microbes and find ways to prevent them (WHO, 2015). In addition to that, there has been a more advanced data monitoring and evaluation enabling the organizations to find more correct and accurate data

2. Briefly describe the course of the disease or condition using the concepts of incidence, prevalence and case-fatality. If these concepts are not relevant to your subject explain what they mean and why they are not relevant.

Unsafe foods containing bacteria, viruses or chemicals contribute to an estimated 200 deaths a year according to the World Health Organization (2015). Almost a third of this number are children under the age of 5 years. Despite the measures put across to help reduce the fatalities due to food safety related illnesses, 1 in every 10 people in the world are affected by the problem of contaminated food (WHO, 2015). This results to 450,000 deaths ever year. The high numbers of fatalities resulting from food safety, it is clear that it significantly affects the socioeconomic activities of communities all over the world (Nout et al., 1997). According to the WHO (2016), the socioeconomic development is mostly strenuous on health care systems, trade and the harm on national economies.

Diarrheal diseases are the leading causes of fatalities with the highest number of people suffering from the effect of infected food (Carvalho, 2017). The 2015 WHO report indicated that the global foodborne diseases are caused by an estimated 31 foodborne agents including virus, chemicals and toxins. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Food Safety authority have come up with measure to ensure that food supply chains go beyond borders, that food handlers practice food safety by ensuring good collaborations between governments and organizations (WHO, 2015).

3. Identify at least two at-risk groups (those with an increased probability of developing and/or experiencing bad outcomes). Use the concept of relative risk and calculate or obtain relative risks to describe their probability of developing the condition or specific disease(s) relative to a specific low risk group.

Food handlers and suppliers are cautioned against improper food handling practices because if the food is contaminated by harmful pathogens, pregnant women and their babies are the most at risk of food poisoning. This happens because they have a weakened immune system (Carvalho, 2017). Pregnant women and babies under the age of 5 have compromised immunity and weak immune systems. They are more susceptible to food borne diseases because their bodies cannot defend them against harmful bacteria and other pathogens (Carvalho, 2017). Almost half of the fatalities resulting from food safety, mothers and young babies suffer the burden of food poisoning than any other groups (WHO, 2015).

Due to their consumption behaviors children and pregnant women are in constant need for food. According to the World Health Organization, the current urbanization trends and travel have put these two groups to enormous dangers of contracting foodborne disease. Eating food cooked in public places, exposure to unsafe cooking practices and lack of proper hygiene during food handling, are some of the risk that pregnant mothers and babies are suffering from WHO, 2015).

4. Identify 5-8 options for potential interventions to address the problem. For each of the options identify the primary focus in terms of When (Primary, secondary or tertiary prevention), Who (individual, at-risk group, population) and How (education, motivation, obligation, invention). Number each of the potential interventions. Identify each option then bullet or create a table giving your answers to When, Who and How for each option.

5. From these potential interventions select 3 to 4 that you identify as most effective. Specifically indicate the advantages and disadvantages of each intervention that you selected and why you think they would be effective. Identify each option then bullet the advantages and disadvantages.

  • Food surfaces hygiene. Keeping the food surfaces clean, washing the dishes and ensuring general food hygiene, prevents food poisoning pathogens from reproducing. Food hygiene should be practiced all the time everywhere that there is food handling (Carvalho, 2017). Mothers and babies handling food should ensure that they maintain the food surface hygiene at all times as they are at high risk of contracting any number of foodborne diseases. The best form of teaching babies on the best food handling practices, should be by orientation. This way they get to understand the concept of food safety from a young age (WHO, 2015).
  • Cook food thoroughly. When preparing food, it is recommended that the food is let to cook properly. Cooking food to appropriate temperatures destroys the disease causing pathogens. When serving food, ensuring that the food is covered and preserved hot, ensures that the people eating the food are not exposed to the bacteria through consumption (Nout et al., 1997). Perishable good should be kept frozen or preserved by any means but should not be left out for long, especially during serving.
  • Use safe water and raw materials. While preparing and cooking food, it is a good practice to prepare food on clean surfaces using clean water. Water that has been stored for a long time could be at risk of infecting the consumers with harmful bacteria. When preparing food for young babies, it is recommended to ensure use of clean water and raw materials for cooking. These practices inhibit the growth of pathogens (Carvalho, 2017).
  • Separating raw food from cooked foods. For children and pregnant mothers,, placing cooked foods on surfaces or containers that held raw meat could aid the spread of bacterial. The separation of foods is done to when preparing foods. Educating cooks on good raw and cooked food handling behaviors is beneficial to people who run the risk of infection due to weakened immunity.
  • Keep food at appropriate temperature during storage. Different foods have different storage temperatures to prevent spread of bacteria. Freezing meat and cereals reduces the chances of bacterial infections due to the unfavorable condition for pathogen reproduction (Carvalho, 2017). Preserving cooked food as hot when serving and storing also reduces the possibility of infection as bacteria does not reproduce in high temperatures.

1. Food hygiene.

Advantages include;


  • Clean surfaces and equipment protects the less immune individuals from pathogens.
  • It also saves on money by reducing medical fees for treatment and regulations.

2. Keep food at appropriate temperature during storing.

  • It is impossible to always keep everything clean.
  • Cleaning the surfaces and equipment could be tedious for the pregnant mothers and children.

There are several advantages of storing food at appropriate temperatures, including;

There are also some disadvantages of preserving foods.

  • The temperature whether high or frozen prevents the pathogens from reproducing.
  • Preserving foods at appropriate temperature preserves the nutrients in the foods and thus remaining healthy the next time it is eaten.

3. Cook food thoroughly.

  • Freezing foods requires refrigerators which are expensive to buy and maintain.
  • The foods that are stored, if kept for long they begin to decompose and that is also a health hazard.



  • Well cooked food provides the body with the required nutrition to help fight bacteria and maintain the body functions.
  • It also prevents the spread of pathogens through half-cooked products like pork and beef.

6.  Indicate methods that you would use to implement the options that you have selected in #5

  • Thoroughly cooked food runs the risk of losing nutrients that are best eaten half-cooked.

To ensure that people keep their surfaces and that they observe good food hygiene, providing sanitary materials like hand sanitizers and educating them on the need for food hygiene are by far the best methods. In most urban areas, it is difficult to observe good food hygiene because it is not possible to know how and when the food was prepared. To curb this problem, carrying your own food and eating from health certified places could aid in eradicating foodborne diseases.

While budgeting for food, it is important to buy just enough for your needs. Where there are no refrigeration equipment, cooking enough food to last the meal is the best way to prevent illness from foodborne diseases. Food cooked thoroughly is a good of ensuring good health and preventing diseases. Despite that fact, teaching people how to cook food thoroughly is the only way to ensure that they maintain good health by cooking.

7. For at least three of your most commonly used citations evaluate each one separately indicating each component of quality using the criteria presented in the text, Public Health 101: Improving Community Health. (Table 3-4) on page 64.

1. World Health Organization. It is the world’s governing body on matters health and food. It presents research publication for other organizations and governments.

2. Cavalho. Conducted a comprehensive research on food poisoning through observation of pesticides qualities and food security.

3. Nout, M. J. R., & Motarjemi, Y. (1997). The team assessed the effects of food storage and preservation especially fermentation to see how bacterial reproduction aids in food poisoning.


Carvalho, F. P. (2017). Pesticides, environment, and food safety. Food and Energy Security6(2), 48-60.

Nout, M. J. R., & Motarjemi, Y. (1997). Assessment of fermentation as a household technology for improving food safety: a joint FAO/WHO workshop. Food Control8(5-6), 221-226.