Dharamshala — On the occasion of World Health Day 2015, Tibetan Health Kalon, Dr. Tsering Wangchuck, composed a message to Tibetans and others regarding the importance of food safety and strengthening food safety systems. The World Health Oranization coined the slogan "from farm to plate, make food safe," as the theme for this years World Health Day.
According to WHO, two million people die every year due to unsafe food, of which a large number is of vulnerable children. Unsafe food include uncooked foods of animal origin, fruits and vegetables contaminated with fecal particles, raw food etc. Food illnesses are usually infectious and toxic in nature and are caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances entering the body through contaminated food or water.
In the Health Kalon's message, he stresses the link between food safety and well being. Unsafe and unhygienic foods cause food illnesses that may lead to severe illnesses, long-lasting disabilities and even death. These illnesses lead to malnutrition, and thus create a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition that particularly affects infants, young children, elderly and the sick.
"Governments must take action to maintain this safety by ways of improving food policy through safe handling and transport of food materials. More importantly, however, at local levels, it is the responsibility of every informed citizen to maintain and follow safe food practices."
WHO recommends 'Five Keys to Safe Food' which include keeping food clean, separating raw and uncooked food, cooking food thoroughly, keeping food at safe temperatures, and using safe water and raw materials for making food.
Health Kalon closed his message with the following sentiment about World Health Day: "let us all be aware of the hazards of food safety and food illnesses, and keeping that in mind, practice safety in our choices and preparation of food so as to lead healthy and happy lives."