Tuesday, April 7, 2015 is World Health Day. This year the World Health Organization’s (WHO) theme is “How safe is your food? From farm to plate, make food safe.” They are asking policy-makers, producers, and the public to think about food safety. Have you considered how safe your food is, where it comes from, was it properly handled during production, and is it free from toxins and harmful bacteria? According to the WHO, unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemicals can cause more than 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhea to cancers. Also, foodborne and waterborne diarrheal diseases kill an estimated 2 million people annually, including many children. With the food supply becoming increasingly globalized, the risk of foodborne illness spreading through many countries simultaneously has increased. Those at greatest risk of illnesses often include infants and children, those with compromised immune systems, and the elderly across all socioeconomic boundaries. The threat of foodborne illness can hurt trade, tourism, national economies, and can put a large strain on the health care system.
The WHO is using this day as an opportunity to alert governments, manufacturers, retailers, and the global public about the importance of food safety, and the part that each can play in ensuring that the food on people’s plate is safe to eat.
At Dr. Shillingford’s Boca Raton, Florida office, we ask that our lap band, gastric bypass, and gastric sleeve patients also consider food safety. Bariatric surgery, as with most surgical procedures, can put patients at a higher risk of infection. In an effort to keep our valued lap band, gastric sleeve, and gastric bypass patients healthy, we are sharing the following tips on food safety from the World Health Organization: