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General public advised to report any questionable food outlets

The Zambia Institute of Environmental Health ( ZIEH ) has called for scaled-up monitoring of food outlets and restaurants to ensure food safety.

Stressing the need to source food from health conducive environments, ZIEH president Kennedy Chishimba says communities should take keen interest in understanding and knowing the sources of their food to prevent food poisoning.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s ‘World Food Safety Day’, Mr. Chishimba said there is need to ensure food safety is promoted from the source to the level of consumption.

Mr. Chishimba urged members of the public to report to the local authorities and Ministry of Health whenever they observe questionable food safety.

He stated that his institute will ensure monitoring activities are scaled and see to it that risk based inspections are spearheaded.

“Food poisoning is in two forms those that are consuming and those that are affected. They should quickly and promptly report to the local authorities or Ministry of Health where our authorised officers will make follow ups and ensure that it is managed,” Mr. Chishimba said.

Mr. Chishimba said there is need for authorised officers to constantly be on the ground to monitor for them to be able to identify the risks and what is causing food the increasing cases of food poisoning.

Mr. Chishimba was quick to mention that restaurants that serve hot foods have not recorded cases of food poisoning adding that food poisoning is mostly recorded in food outlets that prepare food and not served on time.

“You might be surprised to note that we have never recorded food poisoning in a restaurant where nshima, hot foods are served because the food is served whilst it is hot so pathogens cannot survive when temperature are above 70 degrees Celsius,” he said.

World Food Safety Day is celebrated annually every 7 June to draw attention and mobilize action to prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks and improve human health.

This year’s World Food Safety Day theme is : “Safer food, better health” and launches the campaign organizing to inspire global participation.

Safe food is one of the most critical guarantors for good health. Unsafe foods are the cause of many diseases and contribute to other poor health conditions, such as impaired growth and development, micro-nutrient deficiencies, non-communicable or communicable diseases and mental illness.

Globally, one in ten people are affected by foodborne diseases annually.