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IMA: Food safety a priority within Swachh Bharat Swasth Bharat program

New Delhi, Mon, 06 Apr 2015 NI Wire

This World Health Day, the Indian Medical Association commits to making food safety a priority within its Swachh Bharat Swasth Bharat program.

New Delhi, April 6, 2015: Announces day long 'World Health Day 2015 Celebrations' in association with the Heart Care Foundation of India, Delhi Medical Association and NDMC

The current budget of Shri Narendra Modi's Government if managed effictively can take care of lakhs of people dying from food and water borne illnesses. It is estimated that over three lakh children in India alone die before the age of 3 due to diarrheal illnesses every year. Addressing a press conference on the occasion of the upcoming World Health Day, Padma Shri Awardee and Honorary Secretary General of the Indian Medical Association, President Heart Care Foundation of India, Dr KK Aggarwal said, "We at Indian Medical Association would like to invite all the ministries to join hands with us to make India a country free of diarrhoeal deaths. In our endevor to raise awareness about food safety and prevent food and water bourne illness we will be organizing a day long awareness program tomorrow at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium from 8am to 5pm. This is being organized in association with the Heart Care Foundation of India, Delhi Medical Association and NDMC with special support from Indian Oil and the Lions Club".

The activities of the World Health Day celebrations on April 7th, 2015 will include a Perfect Health Parade, CPR training camp, panel discussion open to the public consisting of leading influencers and doctors including pediatrician Dr Anupam Sachdeva, dietician Dr Shikha Sharma, renowned dancers Nalini and Kamilini, surgeon Dr RN Tandon amongst others.

Gobally there are estimated 58 crore cases of 22 different food borne enteric diseases and 351000 associated deaths. The enteric disease agents responsible for most deaths are Salmonella Typhi (52,000 deaths), enteropathogenic E. coli (37,000) and norovirus (35,000). Over 40% people suffering from enteric diseases caused by contaminated food are children aged under 5 years.

Addressing the cause, Padma Shri Awardee and President of the Indian Medical Association - Dr Marthanda Pillai said, "Indian Medical Association will write to health ministry; commerce ministry, consumer ministry and agriculture ministry, to join hands with IMA to get rid of diarrheal deaths in the country”.

Adding to this Dr KK Aggarwal said, “At present the government has earmarked a budget worth 33,152 crores for health. A separate budget for the Swachh Bharat campaign with six crore toilets will bring hygiene and cleanliness; 6 crore new houses with a toilet each under Amrut Mahotsav (75th year of independence), 68968 crores for education and mid-day meals; 5,300 crores for micro-irrigation, service tax exemption in cold storage services and transportation of food stuff by rail/road; and thousands of crores for agriculture ministry if properly utilized can make India a country free of food and water borne diseases.”

Sharing his views Dr. Ajay Lekhi, President, Delhi Medical Association and Dr. P.K. Sharma, MOH, New Delhi Municipal Council in a joint statement said, “The way to good health is through proper education of the masses. For example, people should know that cut open fruits and vegetables are banned and one should not eat them. Through various public health activities we hope that the message of food safety would reach to one and all and they would be better equipped to deal with each and every aspect of it. We are proud to be associated with this noble initiative of Heart Care Foundation of India and Indian Medical Association.”

The following facts on food safety were released by IMA on the occasion:

  1. Ideal temperature for food to remain safe is between 5 to 60 degrees
  2. Water has to be roll boiled for a minimum one minute to kill all the organisms
  3. Remember when in doubt follow "Heat it, roll boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it"
  4. Wash vegetables in running water and not in a utensil
  5. Keep cooked and uncooked food separately
  6. Do not pick up multiple glasses containing drinking water with one hand using multiple fingers to support them
  7. Give all your food handlers one tablet of de-worming every 3-6 months
  8. If you allergic to any food, avoid it. Next allergic reaction may be more severe
  9. Food poisoning can occur within 6 hours of food consumption (vomiting predominant) or after 24 hours of food consumption (diarrohea predominant)
  10. Frozen things do not mean they are sterilized. Ice should always be made out of pure safe water.
  11. All food handlers must wear gloves while preparing food
  12. . Always give food handlers a space for toilet with facilities of soap if they are going to stay overnight
  13. Bottled water does not mean it is safe, it can be recycled one.
  14. Do not eat leftover food for more than 2 hours at room temperature
  15. Cheaper fruits and vegetables brought in morning from abundant stock will always be fresh locally grown and seasonal
  16. Do not buy vegetables if all of them are of the same size
  17. Avoid buying vegetables which look very bright in color with the same brightness
  18. Food of plant in origin has no cholesterol
  19. Combine all seven colures and six taste when buying vegetables and fruits
  20. Food offered to the gods will always be satvik.

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