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Foodborne disease matters for development. It is a major public health problem. It presents a barrier to countries that wish to export and to smallholder farmers who wish to sell produce in high value domestic markets. It is also a major concern of consumers.

Most of the known health burden of foodborne disease is caused by parasites, protozoa, bacteria and viruses in fresh animal source foods and vegetables. There are also major concerns, but major evidence gaps, on the health impacts of chemicals and fungal toxins in food.

Foodborne disease is probably increasing in developing countries. This is the result of:

  • increased consumption of the most risky perishable foods;
  • the intensification of agriculture that can encourage the spread of disease and can result in more contamination of food; and
  • the failure to establish effective food safety systems for domestic markets.

Problems are especially noticeable in South East Asia and urban South Asia and Africa. Solutions to improve food safety require an enabling policy environment as well as systems that recognise and reward value chain participants for producing safe food.

Publication Details

  • Published: 2015
  • Publisher: International Livestock Research Institute in partnership with Evidence on Demand and with the assistance of the UK Department for International Development (DFID)