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Safe food still major concern

Published : 31 Aug 2019 08:38 PM | Updated : 29 Aug 2020 03:57 AM

Ensuring safe food for all citizens is one of the key challenges for the country as vegetables and staple foods such as poultry and milk are still found to be unsafe. From the unsafe food we get often an extensive indication of food adulteration with harmful chemicals. Widespread use of meat and bone meal (MBM) in poultry feed causes antibiotic resistance and cancer. There has been a series of reports on the use of tannery waste as poultry feed.

According to a survey, more than 75 percent of all foods sold in the markets are in some way or the other adulterated. Reportedly, more than 75 per cent fruits, 50 per cent vegetables, 70 per cent rice, 60 per cent of both branded and open edible oil selling in the markets of Dhaka and elsewhere across the country are dangerously adulterated.

“Consumption of tannery waste through eating fish and poultry might lead to liver and kidney diseases. Adulterants cause serious health problems.” says physician Dr. Imran Hossain of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH). Mentioning the fatality, he said, regular consumption of such fish, chicken or eggs may be subjected to cancer or liver and kidney-related diseases.

In Bangladesh, dependable assessment of the public health impact due to food contamination is not available for lack of a regular monitoring system. Limited data from the icddr,b indicates that 501 hospital visits per day for the treatment of diarrhea were attributable to food and waterborne causes. Nutritionist and Professor Sabbir Ahmed said, “The main challenge of safe food is the profit-oriented mentality of businessmen. This mentality pushes us all to hazard. Women and children are the most vulnerable groups of unsafe food”.

He suggested that frequent monitoring and the application of the laws are needed to ensure safe food.” World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that globally foodborne and waterborne diarrhoeal diseases taken together kill about 2.2 million people annually, of which 1.9 million are children. The general scenario on food contamination demonstrates widespread noncompliance with germ-free practice in food handling by both food producers and food traders especially street food traders.

The chronic effect of such events such as cancer, kidney disorders, and birth defects are unlikely to be observed in the short term, because the manifestation of the disease only occurs after long-term, low-level exposure, experts warned on unsafe food.