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Contaminated food kills 137,000 in Africa every year — WHO

The World Health Organisation estimates that 91 million people in Africa fall ill from consuming contaminated food every year and 137,000 dies as a result.

The global health agency says there is a need to adapt food control systems to meet changing needs for better protection of public health.

WHO representative to Kenya Rudi Eggers yesterday called on nations to strengthen measures to improve food safety.

Eggers spoke during the 23rd session of the Codex Coordinating Committee for Africa.

The economic costs of food-related illnesses and deaths are estimated at $95.2 billion in lost productivity and $15 billion in medical expenses in low and middle-income countries.

Codex is an acronym referring to Food Law that governs the development of food standards at the international level.

The international standards set by the Codex are recognized by the World Trade Organization.

Currently, Kenya has adopted more than 200 Codex standards to facilitate trade and to protect the health of consumers.

Compliance with Codex provides the reassurance that foods are being produced according to standards to ensure safety, nutritional adequacy and protection of human health.

Eggers said the integration and consolidation of agricultural and food industries, new dietary habits, the globalization of the food trade and human movements are modifying the patterns of food production, distribution, and consumption.

This, he said, has brought about new challenges.

“These measures include increased investments for robust national food control systems,” Eggers noted.

By: Tamitope Adeniran/

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