Food safety in Myanmar is a national concern

Safe food supplies are important for the national economy, trade and tourism, and also contribute to the security of food and nutrition as well as sustainable development of the country.
The updated figures of the World Health Organization have pointed out that an estimated 600 million—almost 1 in 10 people in the world— fall ill after eating contaminated food, with the yearly death toll of 420,000 caused by unhygienic food.
The figures have suggested sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food have been largely concerned with sustaining life and promoting good health.
Health authorities and policymakers need to consider the crucial importance of food safety as a national concern. Contaminated food may contain harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical agents, causing more than 200 diseases—ranging from diarrhoea to cancers.
Safety of food must always be monitored through effective law enforcement. No excuse should be given to the sellers of unhygienic foods, and traders of substandard quality raw food items.

Safety of food must always be monitored through effective law enforcement. No excuse should be given to the sellers of unhygienic foods, and traders of substandard quality raw food items.

Poor level of food safety can also tarnish the tourism industry of the country. Some regional countries emphasized the safety and hygiene of street foods to attract international tourists. The role of law enforcement authorities has become crucial in this issue. Myanmar should stand in the top ranks of food safety, and clean environment as the country’s pollution level remains low in average in comparing with other regional countries.
It is required to understand unsafe food creates a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition, affecting infants, young children, elderly persons and sick people, posing burdens on the country with regard to the development of a new generation of healthy citizens and loss of national revenue caused by declining productivity and medical expenses. The burden of diseases related to unsafe food should not be underestimated in the provision of public health and welfare.
Therefore, serious measures should be taken in the enforcement of food safety in consideration of public health under the ‘new normal’ lifestyle in the post-COVID-19 for ensuring strong resistance to further infectious diseases.

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