0

World Health Day

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is recently promoted World Health Day with the theme “From Farm to Plate, Make Food Safe.” WHO estimates that unsafe food is linked to the deaths of 2 million people annually – including many children. Food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances can cause more than 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhoea to cancers, a major health concern for all people on the planet.
Even though our food supply in the Australia is among the safest in the world, the Commonwealth Department of Health estimates that there are about 5.4 million annual cases of foodborne illness. Each year these illnesses result in an estimated 128,000 hospitalizations and 125 deaths. The people most likely to become ill from unsafe food, and to be hospitalized or die as a result, are older Australian, very young children, pregnant women, and people with illness or medical treatments that affect their immune systems, such as diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and organ transplants.
Foodborne illnesses occur because of environmental pollution or mishandling somewhere along the food chain from farm to table. Food may become unsafe because of contaminants in soil or water or inadequate safety measures in processing, transportation, or storage. It can also occur because of unsafe handling by workers in the food industry, or by consumers preparing food at home. Ensuring the safety of our food supply requires a farm-to-table approach. This means we are all a part of the food chain—including farmers, processors, transporters, retailers and food service workers, and consumers—and have responsibility for minimizing the risk of food contamination and helping to lower the danger of foodborne illness.

0

PepsiCo stops using aspartame

PepsiCo North America Beverages has decided to stop using aspartame as a sweetener in its drinks because consumers think it’s dangerous. The US Food and Drug Administration describe aspartame as “one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved,” and it has been passed as safe for human consumption by more than 90 countries around the world including Australia. Aspartame was discovered in 1965 andhas been approved for use since 1981 Despite controversy, repeated studies has always found it to be safe for use as a sweetener. Aspartame, also known as E951, is about 200 times sweeter than sugar but contains very few calories.
PepsiCo says it will replace aspartame with another sweetener – sucralose – mixed with acesulfame potassium. PepsiCo insists that the switch to sucralose will not impact the taste of these drinks, but we should expect a “slightly different mouthfeel.”Aspartame-free cans of the drink will go on sale from August in America, but not in Australia.
For people who want to avoid aspartame, the easiest way to do this is to check the labels before buying or eating foods or drinks. If aspartame is in the product it will be listed in the ingredients. The product label will also contain the warning “Phenylketonurics: contains phenylalanine.”

0

Blog 3

Local government Environmental Health Officers routinely assess and monitor food businesses for compliance with food legislation. They work to improve standards and encourage food businesses to adopt processes that meet health and hygiene requirements.
Information about food businesses and individuals that have been convicted of an offence under the Food Act 2008 can be found by searching “food offenders list”. Once published, a conviction will remain on this web based publication for 24 months from the date of conviction.