QU Human Nutrition Dept marks World Food Safety Day

The Human Nutrition Department at Qatar University (QU) has marked World Food Safety Day.

“World Food Safety Day aims to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development.
In this context, we asked for opinion of several QU academic members’ about the importance of safe food,” the university said in a press statement.
Dr Tahra ElObeid, head of the Human Nutrition Department, College of Health Sciences, said QU is committed in its role to educate the student community about the importance of food safety.
She said, “The College of Health Sciences has conducted many workshops to raise awareness inside the university about the importance of healthy food.
The department has worked in new research about food safety that ensures food quality.”
She said improper preparation or storage of food can cause many foodborne illnesses.
Animal products are among the sources of foodborne diseases.”That’s why we should make sure to follow the correct way of cooking as well as ensure the correct storage temperatures.
We must always wash our hands and sterilise the cooking area to avoid the transfer of bacteria to food.”
Dr Abdelhamid Kerkadi, associate professor of Human Nutrition, said: “It’s essential for the food industry to ensure that food is safe for the consumer.
Most companies’ and restaurants’ goals are to provide food with high nutritional value to protect the consumer from food poisoning and food contaminated with bacteria.
“Reducing food poisoning is one of the public health priorities.
Food safety is a profitable priority because any contamination in food will lead to destruction and, in some cases, closure of the company or restaurant concerned.”
Prof Vijay Ganji, professor of Human Nutrition, talked about the importance of strengthening efforts to “ensure that the food we eat is safe and healthy”.She said, “When food is not handled properly, it can be unsafe, and it can put you at risk of foodborne illness.
The symptoms can range from diarrhoea and vomiting to sepsis and meningitis.
Children and the elderly, with their impaired immune function, are more susceptible to foodborne illness.
That’s why we must focus our efforts on educating consumers in an easy, simple way to keep our food safe.”
Prof Reema Tayyem, professor of Human Nutrition, stressed the importance of laws and restrictions that define and legalise the sale of unhealthy food products that may lead to chronic diseases.”As for economic incentives, those concerned should put taxes on unhealthy food such as soft drinks and desserts, as well as limit the marketing of unhealthy foods.
Also, they should run campaigns to promote fruits and vegetables, especially in schools, and allocate classes on nutrition.”
Prof Zumin Shi, professor of Human Nutrition, said: “Food safety is a shared responsibility between governments who control the food supply chain through routine audits.
Secondly, our food supply system relies on the food industry to ensure compliance with food safety regulations.
In cases of food poisoning, it must respond efficiently and withdraw products.
Also, consumers share the responsibility for maintaining food safety from the way foods are prepared, cooked and stored.”
Dr Grace Attieh, teaching assistant of Human Nutrition, added: “Unsafe foods with bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemicals cause more than 200 diseases – ranging from diarrhoea to cancers – and enter the body through contaminated food or water.
For example, foods involved in a salmonella outbreak are eggs and poultry; people affected experience fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea.
Unsafe food poses global health threats, putting everyone at risk, particularly infants, young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with an underlying disease.”


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