23 million people fall ill every year due to contaminated food

The World Health Organisation said that some 44 persons fall ill every minute after consuming contaminated food, which amount to 23 million people a year. WHO estimates that 470,000 persons die each year due to food poisoning.

It is understood that symptoms relating with food contamination emerge between 12 to 72 hours after a person is contaminated. In the majority of cases, a person takes from four to seven days to recover.

Clive Tonna, a director within the Environmental Health Directorate, said that not only chicken, turkey and eggs may lead to food contamination but every type of raw food is considered as contaminated and has to be treated with care. He added that the directorate carries out various inspections in food establishments to ensure that the food is being treated and processed according to regulations.

Today, few are the cases in which restaurants are closed due to lack of cleanliness or health issues. Only five establishments were closed during 2019 for reasons that include lack of hygiene, pest infestations due to rats and cockroaches and great shortcomings by an establishment.

It was remarked that imported products are also subject to rigorous tests before they are imported, however the Environmental Health Directorate carries out a sampling plan in Malta during which products are checked to ensure the required requisits. When products are found not good for consumption by the public, the directorate informs consumers about the said product.