Rospotrebnadzor – for the prevention of food poisoning and infectious diseases transmitted through food

Today, June 7, 2022, in Kaliningrad, the Rospotrebnadzor Office for the Kaliningrad Region drew the attention of Russian Frontier readers to the need to prevent intestinal infectious diseases (poisoning):

With food, pathogens of salmonellosis, campylobacter, gersiniosis, dysentery, norovirus and rotavirus infections, viral hepatitis A and other diseases can be transmitted. In addition, a large percentage consists of food poisoning – when toxins of various microorganisms accumulate in food or dishes.

The causes of food poisoning and foodborne infectious diseases are violations of cooking technology, improper storage, violation of expiration dates of raw materials and ready meals, violation of personal hygiene rules by cooks and confectioners.

The most “epidemiologically dangerous” foods for the occurrence of intestinal infections are multi-ingredient salads (mainly dressed with mayonnaise and sour cream), candies with cream, shawarma, minced meat (cutlets, rolls, pate), jellies, sushi and rolls. Contamination of dishes (contamination of food products) can occur when using low quality raw materials, violation of cooking technology, insufficient heat treatment. Consumption of raw products can cause some helminthiasis, even if the infected fish is used for cooking. On the surface of fruits and vegetables, there may also be pathogens of intestinal infections.

In summer, at high air temperatures, bacteria in food multiply very quickly. Salads, minced products, jelly, asparagus are recommended to cook at home and in small quantities, do not store dishes left for more than a day. If you are still buying ready-made food in the store, pay attention to the time of manufacture of the product and the period of its application. Semi-finished products, meat products must be subjected to repeated heat treatment. Cakes, cream cakes should be stored in the refrigerator and do not forget that fragile products are not the products of choice for outdoor picnics. Refuse to use raw eggs in making cream!

When visiting cafes and restaurants, pay attention to the conditions under which the food is prepared – some facilities have the so-called “open kitchen”. Or check this information with the administrator. We recommend that you refuse to eat in those facilities where guest washing facilities are not provided, messy waiters and vendors are working, the premises are not cleaned (or improperly), including toilets, dirty dishes and trays are used, perishable food is stored out of the refrigerator.

When cooking at home, you must follow certain rules: wash your hands thoroughly before cooking and after contact with raw products, use separate cutting boards and knives for “raw” and “ready”, rinse well (with boiling water treatment ) greens, vegetables and fruits, do not cook minced meat in advance (more than a day), try not to put ready meals and raw meat and fish on the same shelf in the refrigerator.

Do not order over the phone for home delivery meals, especially those containing fish, seafood or other raw animal products.

If you feel unhealthy (especially if you have irritated stools, nausea, abdominal pain) in no case do not cook for the family and guests!

In case of illness, seek medical help immediately.

June 7 is World Food Safety Day.

Safe foods are essential for human health and well-being. Only when food is safe can you make full use of the nutrients it contains and reap the full social and psychological benefits of eating together. Safe food is one of the most important guarantees of good health.

Unsafe foods are the cause of many diseases, delays and growth, micronutrient deficiencies and mental disorders. Every year, every tenth inhabitant of the planet suffers from foodborne illness. Most of these diseases can be prevented.

It is important to remember that proper alignment of the food system and supply chains helps prevent the entry of infectious and toxic agents, pathogens (bacteria, viruses and parasites), chemical residues, biotoxins and other toxic or dangerous substances.

Food safety during the COVID-19 pandemic

Although the COVID-19 virus is not transmitted through food, the pandemic has drawn attention to some food safety issues. These include hygiene, antimicrobial resistance, zoonotic diseases, climate change, food spoilage and the potential benefits of digitizing food systems. The pandemic has also exposed vulnerabilities in food production and quality control systems.

It is important to remember that everyone who produces, processes, transports, markets, sells, prepares and consumes food is part of the food supply chain. Unfortunately, at every stage there is a risk of food contamination and each participant in the chain is responsible for its safety.

A risk-based approach to food security and compliance with food safety requirements provides the opportunity to keep global food supply chains open and give consumers access to food. Combining food security efforts can mitigate the socio-economic impact of the pandemic and, in the long run, enhance stability by facilitating and accelerating trade in food and agricultural products, reducing the risk of a new pandemic of zoonotic diseases and foodborne diseases.

In 2021, on the territory of Russia, Rospotrebnadzor agencies and organizations selected and tested more than 1.849 million samples of domestic and imported food products. The information is provided on the website of the federal ministry.

For the period from 2012 to 2021, there was a decrease in the percentage of food samples that do not meet the health and epidemiological requirements, both in health and chemical (from 2.77% in 2012 to 0.34% in 2021) and in microbiological (from 4.75% in 2012 to 3.26% in 2021) indicators. The share of domestic product samples that do not meet the health and epidemiological requirements for health and chemical indicators decreased from 2.8% in 2012 to 0.34% in 2021.

The share of food product samples that do not meet hygiene standards in terms of health and chemical indicators in 2021 is above average (0.34%) in the following food product groups:

– “fruit and vegetable products” – 0,84%, due to the finding of an excess content of nitrates in melons (4,44%), 5-hydroxymethylfurfural in honey and bee products (4,41%). Nitrates in vegetables (1%), pesticides in vegetables (0.19%).

– “canned food”, due to the excess of nitrates in canned vegetables (2.95%), including imported (2.82%).

Nitrates remain the priority contaminants in terms of the percentage of samples that do not meet health and epidemiological requirements. Thus, the share of samples that do not meet the hygiene standards for the nitrate content in 2021 amounted to 1.0%.

The non-compliance of food samples with hygiene standards for microbiological indicators from the number of studies conducted in 2021 amounted to 3.26% (imports – 1.99%). Of these, in groups:

– “fish, fishery objects other than fisheries and products derived therefrom” – 4,7%;

– “poultry, eggs and their products” – 3,92%;

“meat and meat products” – 3,8%.

– “confectionery” – 3.44%, due to cream products (6.99%).

– “culinary products” – 3.47%, due to gastronomic products produced using non-traditional technology (16.37%), gastronomic products of laboratories and public restaurants selling their products through the distribution network (4.45%) .

“canned” – 2.45%, by weight of canned fish (7.25%), including canned fish (12.11%).

Of the imported products, a high share of non-compliant products in terms of microbiological indicators was found in the group “canned” – 3.4%, due to canned fish (13.0%), including canned (15.0%).

The share of product samples that do not meet the specified requirements for physical and chemical indicators in 2021 amounted to 3.11%.

Since 2012, the number of diseases associated with unsafe products has decreased by more than 30.5%. Positive trends are linked, among other things, to the transition of the Federal Consumer Protection and Human Welfare Surveillance Service to a risk-based surveillance model, in which the products with the highest risks are subject to more frequent and in-depth control.

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