In the last decade, food safety has emerged as a significant global
issue with public health and international trade implications. All people
need nutritious and safe food if they are to be healthy and contribute to
family and community welfare and national economic and social development.
Foodborne illnesses associated with microbial pathogens or other food
contaminants are a serious health threat in developing and developed countries.
Outbreaks of such illnesses can spread rapidly and transnationally, and disproportionately
affect children and the elderly. About 1.5 billion global episodes of diarrhea
occur annually, mainly in developing countries, resulting in 3 million deaths
among children less than 5 years of age. The World Health Organization (WHO)
has estimated that 70% of diarrheal episodes are caused by biologically contaminated
Satcher D. Food Safety: A Growing Global Health Problem. JAMA. 2000;283(14):1817. doi:10.1001/jama.283.14.1817