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Africa: Experts say consumers must demand improved food safety

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

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Friday, 21 September 2018

Africa: Experts say consumers must demand improved food safety

Consumer expectations and demands have a role to play in improving food safety in Africa, according to speakers at an event in Brussels this week. The briefing in the Belgian city was organized by the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, with the European Commission (DG DEVCO and DG SANTE), the ACP Secretariat, CONCORD and the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP). The World Health Organization’s Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG) estimates that 420,000 people die and 600 million fall ill annually from foodborne hazards. The highest incidence is in Africa with an estimated 91,000 deaths and 127 million illnesses annually and the heaviest burden of disease on children under five. Michael Scannell, director for the food chain at DG SANTE, said citizens in Europe demand high levels of food safety and put pressure on politicians to ensure this, who in turn put pressure on civil servants, to make certain regulatory systems are in place. “In Europe we had Fipronil, which is an insecticide, in eggs and poultry meat and horse meat … but it is important to keep in mind neither of those incidents led to any hospitalizations or deaths yet they triggered media and political reaction,” Scannell told attendees.

Source: foodsafetynews.com