KUWAIT, May 2 (KUNA) -- Food safety is a shared responsibility between the government and consumers, thus the Kuwaiti government is exerting efforts to raise people's awareness about their role in ensuring the safety of food supplies.
The municipality is planning a wide array of activities aimed at educating consumers on carrying out self-assesment of their food purchases and how to avoid foodborne illnesses, the municipality's General Director Eng. Ahmad Al-Subaih told KUNA Thursday.
The campaigns provide people with proper education about the characteristics of safe food, how food becomes contaminated, how to prevent contamination through good hygiene practices and right packaging and storage practices as a part of habitual precautions taken by individuals to protect the health and well-being of themselves.
"Kuwait municipality's role in ensuring the safety of food handled in local markets is not confined to monitoring and inspection of food suppliers and outlets but also on raising people's awareness about the safety of their own food," he said.
"We aim to help new generations be more aware about the concept of food safety," he told KUNA.
Al-Subaih added that Kuwait Municipality food safety awareness efforts target all citizens and residents, particularly youth and students.
"The campaign includes a plethora of activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops," he told KUNA.
Meanwhile, Head of the Municipality Inspection team at Al-Farwaniyah Governorate said the inspection teams are carrying out around-the-clock inspection campaigns to ensure food producers, importers and suppliers abide by food safety standards.
The Municipality is intensifying its inspection campaigns on the whole market as well as food companies, particularly those who supply schools with food, he said.
According to the World Health Orgnization, each day millions of people become ill and thousands die from a preventable foodborne disease. More than 200 diseases are transmitted through food.
Although governments throughout the world are attempting to improve the safety of the food supply, the occurrence of foodborne disease remains a significant health issue in both developed and developing countries.
Even though food contamination can occur at any stage of the food production chain, a high proportion of foodborne disease is caused by foods improperly prepared or handled at home or in food service establishments. Proper food handling is of particular importance for people in high-risk groups (e.g. children, older people, pregnant and immunocompromised individuals) and their care-givers.
WHO stressed that the education of consumers and food handlers, to raise awareness of food safety risks is, therefore, essential to prevent foodborne diseases and ensure better health. After thorough consultation with food safety experts and risk communicators, WHO has recently initiated a health promotion campaign based upon five simple rules, to help ensure food and water safety during food handling and preparation.The five keys to safer food: 1) Keep clean; 2) Separate raw and cooked; 3) Cook food thoroughly; 4) Keep food at safe temperatures; 5) Use safe water and raw materials. (end) mf.afb.tb.ibi KUNA 021720 May 13NNNN