5,000 had food poisoning in Vietnam last year: WHO

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A sidewalk eatery in downtown Hanoi. The World Health Organization has called for more actions to ensure food safety in Vietnam. Photo: Thu Hang A sidewalk eatery in downtown Hanoi. The World Health Organization has called for more actions to ensure food safety in Vietnam. Photo: Thu Hang

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Rapid economic development brings challenge to ensuring food safety in Vietnam where more than 5,000 people were affected by food poisoning last year, according to the World Health Organization.
According to WHO, 80 percent of the victims of food poisoning in the country were hospitalized and 43 died.
Globally, diseases caused by unsafe food claim an estimated 2 million lives each year, WHO said in a statement to mark the World Health Day on April 7.
The organization urges all consumers and producers to observe food safety to save lives and improve people’s health.
"Food safety assurance is the responsibility of all consumers and producers along the food chain from farm to plate," said WHO Acting Representative Jeffery Kobza.
"Food producers, manufacturers and traders in Vietnam need to take responsibility for the safety of food they produce and trade while consumers must take preventive measures and follow good food safety practices."
Unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances causes more than 200 diseases – ranging from diarrhea to chronic diseases such as cancers, according to WHO.
WHO called for collaboration between Vietnam and its neighboring countries to ensure food safety as food supply chains increasingly cross national borders.
The organization is working with the Vietnam Food Administration and other partners to promote people’s health through ensuring food safety,
The behavior of consumers and producers along the food chain is at the heart of promoting and ensuring food safety, it said.
WHO’s Five Keys to Safer Food explain five simple actions when handling food -- keeping clean, separating raw and cooked foods, cooking food thoroughly, keeping food at safe temperatures and using safe water and raw materials when preparing food.

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