Agriculture, food safety, and foodborne diseases

understanding the links between agriculture and health

To improve the ability of farmers in developing countries to reduce the burden of foodborne illness, government agencies need to take the following steps: (1) Implement a farm-to-table approach to agricultural health by focusing efforts on the prevention of potential food safety and agricultural health threats at all stages of the supply chain including production, processing, marketing, and retailing. (2) Raise awareness among decisionmakers, public servants, producers, traders, and consumers about the potential sources of food safety problems and ways to protect against such problems. (3) Encourage a multi-stakeholder approach to improving public health. (4) Strengthen surveillance and diagnostic capacity in all countries to improve measurement of prevalence and detection of outbreaks. (5) Strengthen risk analysis capacity to help decisionmakers in all countries to set strategies and priorities, to consider the many needs of the supply chain, and to increase their focus on the preharvest stage. (6) Switch from command-control policies to performance-based standards to meet national and international food safety goals. Command-control policies are often less flexible and have higher fixed costs, which may result in the displacement of poor producers from the market. (7) Improve infrastructure and access to cold storage facilities to ensure the delivery of highly perishable foods to distant markets. (8) Support efforts to improve supply chain management to improve food safety along the whole supply chain.

Todd, Ewen C. D.
Narrod, Clare
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International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
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