Amina Shahzadi, Green Blogger

Food safety refers to foods staffs which are free from causing any danger or harm to the members of any given community and food security refers to a situation when community has sufficient /enough healthy food. So food safety and security refers to access to healthy and sufficient amount of nutritious food that can sustain life and promote good health.

Food safety is an umbrella term that encompasses many facets of handling, preparation and storage of food to prevent illness and injury. Included under the umbrella are chemical, microphysical and microbiological aspects of food safety. A priority of food chemical quality is control of allergens which can be life threatening to some people that are highly sensitive. Other chemical properties of food such as vitamin and mineral content are also important and affect the overall quality of the food but are not as significant in terms of food safety. To prevent injury, the absence of foreign microphysical particles is crucial. Microphysical particles such as glass and metal can be hazardous and cause serious injury to consumers. Pathogenic bacteria, viruses and toxins produced by microorganisms are all possible contaminants of food and impact food safety.

Figure 1-Interrelationship of food safety and security

Food Safety Situation in Pakistan

Pakistan is blessed with abundant soil, sunshine and cheap labor if conserved. Great opportunities for livestock and agriculture farming and processing. Pakistan is facing a myriad of critical problem related with the different issue of safety. The total extent of food borne diseases problem in developing world SAARC countries particularly in Pakistan is higher. Medical system is ill equipped to monitor outbreak. No/scanty data on incidences of food poisoning cases. Fragmented data for epidemiological incidences of human food born and zoonotic disease. Chronic poverty, recurring disasters, and political and economic volatility drive undernutrition and food insecurity in some areas of Pakistan. Pakistan is also prone to extreme weather and disasters.  Since 2013, drought has become a frequent phenomenon in Pakistan, affecting livelihoods and household food security in parts of Baluchistan and Sindh provinces. Pakistan is also prone to extreme weather and disasters.

Because of:

  • Growing Population
  • Poor economy
  • Competitive trade
  • No surveillance and monitoring
  • Less stringent food laws
  • Lack of modern technologies and practices

Strategies to Ensure Food Safety

We have to adopt the following strategies to ensure food safety:

  • Development of national food safety polices and infrastructure on the basis of local need assessment.
  • Food legislation and enforcement
  • Increasing awareness of food processing technologies
  • Education of household consumer in hygienic handling improving the hygienic quality of street-vended food.
  • Epidemiological surveillance
  • Promote participatory research and Eco technologies.
  • Establish climate change management program.
  • Strength and conservation of natural resources and their utilization.
  • Food safety is the joint responsibility of consumer, industry, academia and authorities, education.
  • Genetic engineering, irradiation of food and modified atmospheric packaging are new technologies to improve food safety.


About the Author: Amina Shahzadi, a researcher in environment from UVAS , Lahore, has interests in writing articles, blogs and information related to Environmental Science, Climate change, Bioremediation.