The Gambian Population Is At High Risk Of Contaminating Foodborne Diseases

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The Gambian Population Is At High Risk Of Contaminating Foodborne Diseases

Foodborne disease is any illness resulting from the spoilage of contaminated food, pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or parasites that contaminate food, as well as toxins such as poisonous mushrooms and various species of beans that have not been boiled for at least 10 minutes.

Safeguarding the nation’s food supply requires that the food supply be regulated and monitored according to science-based principles. Ensuring food safety covers a broad range of processes, from on-farm production, to processing, distribution, storage, selection, preparation, and consumption. Food Safety and Quality Authority (FSQA) should collaborates extensivelywith stakeholders to safeguard the country’s food supply, prevent foodborne illnesses, and educate all food handlers, including consumers which are considered as the last line of defense.

In the Gambia, each year, many people die from foodborne illnesses that are related to the consumption of food that are unfit for human consumption. This is a preventable problem that is damaging to both individuals and the economy, but many of these illnesses can be prevented. All these problems could minimize or reduced if food business premises are continuous inspected and consumers are educated about their responsibility by the FSQA. Good food safety system promotes the following.

Reduced loss of income and health care costs for the affected individual
Improved productivity
Reduced burden on the country’s healthcare system through improved public health
A safer food supply, from farm to fork.
Promote Consumer confidence in the food supply leading to economic stability.


Presently no individual could ascertain how safe the food we consumed
in the Gambia each day from our markets because inspection of food business premises has not been going for the past three months. This could have a great impact on the consumer’s health especially food that are prepared by hawkers and this could also reduce consumers’ confidence in the food business leading economic instability.

Food borne illnesses are a preventable and underreported public health problem. These illnesses are a burden on public health and contribute significantly to the cost of health care. Younger than age 5 have the highest incidence of laboratory – confirmed infections from some foodborne pathogens, including Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, Escherichia Coli etc.

People older than age 50 and those with reduced immunity are at greater risk for hospitalizations and death from intestinal pathogens commonly transmitted through foods.

Food hazards, including germs and chemical contaminants can enter the food supply at any point from farm to fork. Most of these hazards cannot be detected in food when it purchased or consumed. In addition, a food itself cause severe adverse reaction in people who are allergic to it.it is important for the people to understand how their behavior and activities contributeto the safety of food and how they can decrease the risk of food borne illness.

Pathogenic agents in food, whether they are microbial (such as viruses, bacteria and parasites) or chemical (from toxins and heavy metals to pesticide residues and veterinary drugs) carry risks to human health. But too often people do not make a connection between symptoms they are experiencing – or could experience in the future — and the food-related risks they have been exposed.

However, with a proper inspection procedure by the FSQA such a risk can be prevented, and will ensure the population consume safe and quality food. Unfortunately, the authority under DGZainab Jallow is not doing anything to save the Gambian population.

By. Concerned Citizen of the Gambia

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