Foodborne illnesses contribute to malnutrition. Contaminated foods perpetuate cycles of disease and malnutrition that are particularly harmful to vulnerable populations, including infants, young children, the elderly, and the sick.
Foodborne illnesses can have lifelong negative effects. Inadequate nutrition and repeated bouts of infection during the first 1,000 days of life affects approximately 162 million children under the age of five and can permanently affect their cognitive and physical development.
Foodborne illnesses are preventable. Foodborne illnesses can be reduced, managed, and mitigated by safe handling of food on farms, during transport, throughout processing, in markets, and in the home.
Foodborne illnesses are an economic burden. In 2018, the World Bank estimated that foodborne diseases cost low- and middle-income countries $95.2 billion per year in productivity loss, with an annual treatment cost of $15 billion.
Food safety removes barriers to economic growth. Food safety policies and practices enable food producers and processors to reach new local and global markets that adhere to international food safety standards.
Food safety has a global impact. Food supply chains are international, enabling foodborne diseases to spread rapidly across borders. Improved food safety standards in developing countries not only contribute to a safe and reliable local food supply, but they also safeguard consumers around the world.