Food Safety and Risk Analysis
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Food safety is defined by the World Health Organization as the assurance that food will not cause harm to the consumer when it is prepared and eaten according to its intended use. It is estimated that, annually, one-third of the populations of developed countries are affected by foodborne disease and, globally, food and waterborne diseases kill an estimated 1.8 million people, mostly in developing countries, with the majority of victims being children.Environmental health professionals have an important role in the challenging task of protecting the community from foodborne disease. To manage resources effectively, they need to understand current and emerging food safety challenges, the causes and consequences of foodborne disease, and the food safety tools available to identify and control food safety hazards.By applying the three risk analysis principles of risk assessment, risk management, and risk communication, environmental health professionals are able to develop food safety policies based on sound scientific evidence that are effectively communicated and implemented by all stakeholders including industry, governments, and consumers at all stages of the food chain. The resultant integrated food safety systems can operate at an international, national, local, or business level to improve public health and facilitate trade.
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