Food safety is a very essential aspect of maintaining healthy and productive relationships between human beings and the entire environment. It is because it plays a basic role in enhancing good health which is vital in influencing sustainable human activities. Fundamentally, human activities influence their relationships and interactions with the environment. It can be acknowledged that maintaining food safety at all levels ensures good health which in turn guarantees healthy relationships between man and his environment. Human activities have various implications on the entire environment.
In deed, they affect the economic, social, environmental and political aspects of the environment. Food safety that is fundamental for good health enables man to relate well with all these aspects of his environment. Food safety: Health To begin with good health enables human beings to work hard and be able to provide for their economic needs. According to Last (1998), when both mentally and physically healthy, individuals tend to be more productive. Increased productivity leads to healthy societies as individuals can be able to cater for their needs and wants.
This is made possible by individuals earning enough to attain financial stability. Thus they can be able to pay their bills, spare some for recreation and also be able to save for the future. This is made possible if their health is assured through ensuring food safety. Bronfenbrenner (1979) indicates that excellent health also determines good interpersonal relationships and hence enables populations to acquire social cohesion. In this respect, he argues that healthy individuals are unlikely to be social misfits because they are able to think straight and are also conscious of the societal values which they uphold.
Also, health enables one to work and earn an honest living as well as provide enough for his or her family. As such, people become more responsible and dedicated to their lives and this enhances one’s self esteem and personal satisfaction. Generally, Last (1998) asserts that healthy people are able to maintain healthy relationships than their counterparts. Again, this healthy status can only be achieved if the they food they consume is handled in a hygienic manner. With regard to the environment, Ebi, et al. (2005) argues that good health enables individuals to cater for their environment.
According to him, healthy individuals are usually able to take timely measures to avoid environmental deterioration in their own simple ways. For instance, they can be able to plant trees, dispose of their wastes in a proper way and perform other functions that enhance environmental conservation. These actions may seem simple yet their contribution to environmental conservation is very significant. In addition, since these individuals have financial stability, they can contribute to environmental conservation missions by donating money (Ebi et al. , 2005).
Furthermore, healthy individuals are in position to take sound decisions with regard to environmental conservation. The political stability of a country is also dependent on the health of the individuals. To this end, Bronfenbrenner (1979) argues that healthy and active individuals are less likely to engage in politically unsound behavior. It is worth noting that good health throughout a person’s life also implies that the person’s education and thinking process is rational. Therefore, such individuals are able to make informed, autonomous and democratic decisions with regard to politics.
This enables a country to have visionary leaders that are politically mature and therefore enforce policies that are beneficial to the locals. This status can be achieved if food safety is maintained all through a person’s life. Indeed, food safety is a very vital component of our day to day living because of the role it plays in maintaining our health. Without this good health, life can be difficult for most individuals because diseases will be prevalent. Despite this realization, food handling in the US continues to be a major problem and the frequency of food poisoning and food borne illness continues to rise significantly (Last, 1998).
This implies that the Food and Drug administration has failed in its duty to protect the health of the citizens. This can also be attributed to the money oriented attitude that our society has assumed. For instance, Andrew (2006) indicates that some butchery workers would rather keep their jobs than identify a slip up in the meat processing process. Further, he asserts that the urge to get food on the markets in a timely manner in order to make huge profits has made business persons overlook the minor but most important aspects of food safety.
Therefore, there is need for consumers to take up the responsibility of maintaining good health by practicing the following critical steps that are very important in enhancing food safety and improved health. At a personal level, consumers should be extremely wary of sale offers. If the deal seems too good, it is always recommended to think twice. In most instances, business owners place on sale products that are defective (Andrew, 2006). Therefore, instead of making purchases blindly, consumers should spare time to check the packages properly and even identify the odor of the food.
If the odor is bad, Loken (1995) ascertains that such food is not suitable for human consumption. In addition, consumers should put in to consideration the packaging of the food. Usually, food can look very appealing yet if not packed well, the probability that it is infected is so high. According to Watson (2001), well packaged food has a higher probability of being germ free. When purchasing fruits and vegetables, consumers should only buy those that are fresh looking (Loken, 1995). They should avoid fruits or vegetables that have spots or look unhealthy as this is a clear indication of infection.
Andrew (2006) notes that hepatitis A is spread through poor handling of fruits and vegetables, specifically by washing the same with contaminated water before they reach the market. He suggests that it is important that consumers keep themselves well informed about any outbreaks and take precaution in a timely manner by adjusting their menu accordingly. According to him, it could be safer to avoid any fruits or vegetables involved in the outbreak than endanger one’s health by consuming contaminated food.
At home, fruits and vegetables should be washed thoroughly and under running water in order to remove all dirt. In cases where fruit and vegetable washers are used, it is essential to adhere to the directions of the manufacturer in order to avoid any possible contamination. When shopping for dry foods, Watson (2001) argues that consumers should check the packaging material to ensure that it is in order. In particular, he explains that the nylon papers used for packaging as well as boxes should be well inspected to ensure that they do not have holes or openings.
This is an indication that food is not contaminated as holes or other openings could serve as entrances of insects and generally germs. In addition, consumers should avoid buying dry foods that are infested by insects like weevils. These transmit diseases that are dangerous to human health. In the case of canned foods, Loken (1995) explains that care should be taken to avoid buying any cans that are defective in any way. Specifically, those with punctures or dents should be avoided at all costs as this is an indication that the food is contaminated.
Consuming infected canned food can be very fatal as it may contain botulin toxin (Watson, 2001). This has a severe and fatal impact on human health as it causes paralysis. It is also important to check the cans properly on arrival at home as dents can occur during transportation. In such incidents, Andrew (2006) explains that it is better to discard them as this could be an indication of punctures which imply infection. In the home environment, Andrew (2006) points out that it is advisable to clean all surfaces used in food preparation and the kitchen as a whole after the activity.
This should be done with an antibacterial cleaner in order to kill all disease causing micro organisms. In addition, the surfaces should be kept dry as wet surfaces, coupled with a warm kitchen environment provides the best conditions for micro organism breeding (Andrew, 2006). When handling meats, Loken (1995) indicates that it is advisable to freeze any that would not be consumed in a few days time. According to him, this goes a long way in avoiding chances of poisoning. In addition, he explains that before cooking any meats, it is important to inspect them fully after thawing in order to identify any signs of spoiling.
Further, when cooking meats, the right temperatures should be used in order to kill any existing infectious micro organisms. Failure to do this could lead to fatal poisoning caused by the existing micro organisms (Loken, 1995). After meals, any remaining food should be frozen rather than left open even if it is meant to be used in the next meal. In many cases, persons prefer to leave the left over food from the previous meals intended to be used in the next meal in an open place. It is assumed that the period between meals is short and therefore possibility of contamination is low.
However, Watson (2001) indicates that contamination can still occur within any period. The surfaces used when preparing food before cooking should also be easy to clean appropriately. It is notable that most people prefer wooden boards for chopping food and vegetables. However, these are not hygienic enough as they keep germs between the chips. It can be very difficult to clean them appropriately. Therefore, other options found on the market should be used. In cases where a dish washer is available, it should be utilized for washing utensils.
Dishwashers have proved to be very effective in killing germs due to their ability to withstand very hot water. Andrew (2006) affirms that in deed, hot water is the cheapest way of killing germs and consequently, dishes washed in very hot water are likely to be germ free. In instances where one opts to dine in the restaurants, the first thing to do should be to choose a decent place. Then, when inside the restaurant, one should take note of the conduct of the staff when serving food as this often gives an insight on the general hygiene of the restaurant.
If this is not satisfactory, Last (1998) explains that it is better to avoid eating in the place than risk infection. Particularly, care should be taken before consuming vegetable and fruit salads as they are the most susceptible to contamination. Restaurants on their part should ensure that any food bought is well tested before it is cooked. This is important as it helps avoid chances of cooking infected food. In addition, hospitals should also take the same precautions. Above all, Watson (2001) argues that Agricultural production in itself should be sustainable to avoid contamination at the farm level.
According to him, this can be achieved if the chemicals used are suitable for Agricultural production. Harsh chemicals that are risky for human consumption should be avoided at all costs. This will help avoid the incidences of heavy metals in the vegetables and fruits. Traces of heavy metals in food have been known to cause terminal illnesses like cancer (Watson, 2001). This can be avoided if more healthy Agricultural practices are adopted. Conclusion In conclusion, all these safety measures if put in to consideration can have a positive effect on the healthcare of individuals and the society a large.
Specifically, these measures are fundamental in avoiding infection as a result of consuming contaminated food. If infection is completely eliminated from food preparation and processing, then the food eaten will be safe and this has a positive impact on the health of individuals. Eating safe foods significantly reduces the incidences of disease and deaths. Since diseases cause a major setback on people’s health, elimination of the same in the society will aid in creating holistic and productive societies.
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