The human health burden from foodborne disease is comparable to that of malaria, HIV/AIDS, or tuberculosis.
This is according to the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).
ILRI said unsafe food is also a barrier to market access for poor farmers.
“Food safety is a key part of ILRI’s research portfolio. ILRI leads the food safety flagship of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health,” ILRI said during the World Food Safety Day.
The Institute said the flagship seeks food safety solutions that can work in informal markets.
It focuses primarily on mitigating aflatoxin contamination in key staples and on managing risks in informal markets for nutrient-rich perishables like meat, milk, fish, and vegetables.
“Better management of food borne diseases could save nearly half a million lives a year and safeguard the livelihoods of over one billion small-scale livestock producers,” ILRI said.
It said its approach to food safety research is based on risk analysis.
It identifies the hazards in food and build the capacity of policymakers to understand risk-based approaches.
“Policy will be more effective and efficient if based on actual risk to human health rather than the presence of hazards. We generate evidence and develop solutions to improve the safety of animal products in informal food markets,” ILRI said.