Food is considered to be one of the most notable routes of transmission of diseases worldwide owing to the microbial contaminations which can be present in it. Global emergence and re-emergence of pathogens which are foodborne have made microbiological quality and safety of food important for public health. More than 250 origins of foodborne diseases have been identified globally. Various food quality regulations have also been imposed in several countries because of the increasing foodborne illnesses. Consuming food which has been contaminated with microbial by-products such as toxins or whole foodborne pathogens result in life-threatening diseases accompanied with economic losses. At present, more than 2 million deaths happen each year in developing nations due to foodborne pathogens. The most affected people are generally aged individuals, kids, and individuals with immunocompromised immune system. Statistics state that around 2.2 million infants lose their lives each year from diarrhea while more than 6 lac children have been reported to die on yearly basis due to the intake of unsafe food Southeast Asia. It is subsequently significant that public health is taken into genuine considerations in non-industrial nations.
Over the past decades, quality and safety of food created for consumption by humans in developing nations keep on expanding on account of foodborne sickness outbreaks credited to food that are raw and unsafe, food cooked and stored at improper temperatures, poor storage infrastructures, poor hygiene practices, improper methods of handling and also cross contamination of cooked food with raw and uncooked food. Home is the primary source of the production of food in developing countries. Therefore, home itself serves as favorable breeding ground for both outbreak and spread of foodborne illness. Food handler’s personal hygiene is thus very critical in preventing outbreaks. A recent study has showed that food handlers in countries like West Africa and Ghana lack the knowledge of proper temperatures for holding different food do not have enough knowledge regarding the cross contamination of food. It was also observed in the same study that water serves as one of the most common routes of transmission of pathogens. Aside from the home contamination of food, various other sources such as consumers and food vendors, farms, supply chain and lack of proper knowledge for implementing hazard analysis critical control point measures during food production also play a significant role.
The food, mainly in the developing countries come with various concerns than are not well-informed about the issues of food safety or one’s own responsibilities for that matter. A sound knowledge of good manufacturing practices, hygiene, modern technologies such as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system are mostly found to be limited or completely absent. Inadequate cold storage facilities and unsuitable water use in food processing facilities add to the problems. The food gets handled by workers in farms or factories who are mostly untrained. Reports suggest that in certain societies, diarrhoea is considered as a natural condition and is not perceived as a symptom of disease. Some of the developing countries are not able to be a part of international bodies like World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) resulting in a lack of understanding of national obligations.
Most of the foodborne diseases in the developing countries are underestimated or underreported. Thus, a collaborative effort between the developing nation, its government, researchers, policymakers and general public is required for a reduction in the incidence of such diseases. The use of education, information and communication must be encouraged for curbing the emerging problems. The application of HACCP system and the Codex General Principles of Food Hygiene must be promoted in these countries as fundamental elements for enhancing the control of emerging food-borne illnesses.