The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has published a guide that lists the main foodborne parasites that cause disease in humans, as well as recommendations to reduce risks.
The guide pays special attention to two issues: the need to raise awareness about this food safety hazard at all levels, from administrations to primary production, food companies and consumers themselves, and on the other hand the importance of informing and educating on proper hygiene practices to minimize risk.
The guide specifies the main parasites transmitted by pork, fish, freshwater crustaceans, vegetables and water, for which food safety measures play an important role in their prevention and control. All of them include information on their life cycles and transmission routes, as well as their effects on health.
The risks associated with all of these can be avoided or minimized by applying good hygiene practices and promoting awareness at the community level. Thus, the FAO guide points out some recommendations on these hygiene practices to prevent and control the spread of parasitic diseases, and makes proposals for the authorities to promote a participatory approach in the awareness-raising process and the development of training packages for operators. of food companies.
Diseases that bypass security systems
Foodborne parasitic diseases are often difficult to detect, escaping food safety systems and posing a danger in low visibility.
In the case of the European Union, the lack of harmonization in the surveillance, control and notification of infections caused by foodborne parasites makes it difficult to assess their real impact on health. This problem is scalable globally and is exacerbated in regions with lower levels of hygiene and food safety.
This is one of the reasons why FAO publishes this guide to foodborne parasites.