Food threat to health congress

Globally, about two million people die each year after consuming spoilt food, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In Germany alone, about 200,000 cases of illnesses resulting from food are reported annually - over 60,000 caused by salmonellae - and experts believe cases might be 10-20 times higher. The EU estimated that salmonellae infections cost the healthcare system about three billion euros annually.

Professor Andreas Hensel, President of the BfR, speaking at the 5th World Congress Foodborne Infections and Intoxications, said: ‘Food infections are a global problem. Only if we impose uniformly high hygiene requirements around the world, will we be able, in the long term, to prevent new pathogens from gaining ground and diseases that had been eradicated in some regions, from flaring up once again.’

400 people from over 50 countries attended the congress, staged every six years. Organised by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in its capacity as a Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Food Hygiene and Zoonoses of the World Health Organisation and the Food and Agriculture Organisation, it serves as a forum for the exchange of scientific findings on the causes and spread of foodborne infections and intoxications as well as for the sharing of practical experience in their prevention and control.

Details : www.bfr.bund.de

01.09.2004

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