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Health hazards of food contaminants

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Health hazards of food contaminants

  1. 1. HEALTH HAZARDS OF FOOD CONTAMINANTSYakindra Prasad Timilsena(Food Research Officer)Department of Food Technology and Quality Control,Babarmahal, Kathmandu
  2. 2. Food contaminantsVolume 1 of the Codex Alimentarius defines a foodcontaminant as follows:Any substance not intentionally added to food orAny substance present in food as a result of theproduction (including operations carried out in crophusbandry, animal husbandry and veterinarymedicine), manufacture, processing, preparation,treatment, packing, packaging, transport or holdingof such food or as a result of environmentalcontamination.Does not include insect fragments, rodent hairsand other extraneous matters.
  3. 3. Contaminants Pollutants Toxicants Impurities Residual unwanted materials 
  4. 4. Health Hazard = Toxicity xExposurerisk; the the capacitypotential of afor contaminant the risk of ainjury to cause contaminant injury contacting or entering the body
  5. 5. HazardHigher toxicity = greater hazard ◦ Lower toxicity = less hazardHigher exposure = greater hazard ◦ Lower exposure = less hazard North Carolina Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  6. 6. Hazard Physical Chemical Biological noise, lighting, vibration, solvents, acids, bacteria, virus, temperature, metals, dust, fungus/molds electricity pesticides occupational side of environmental health Ergonomic-repetitive movement, poorly designed equipment
  7. 7. Food Borne hazards Biological Contamination Associated with poor domestic sanitation and hygiene arrangements Chemical Contamination E.g. food additives, pesticides
  8. 8. Vector Borne HazardsWater related vectorsE.g. malaria, guinea worm, schistosomiasisAnimal related vectorsE.g. sleeping sickness, bubonic plague
  9. 9. Pesticide Residues asFood ContaminantsPesticides are chemical / biological substances which kill the insect (excluding honey bees) weeds and fungi selectively by not harming the hostWithin the specified dose, not toxic to the mammals and is only toxic  to the target pest
  10. 10. Major Types of PesticidesInsecticidesHerbicidesPlant growth regulatorsFungicidesRhodenticidesHouse hold(Insect repellants) 
  11. 11. Pesticides and HumansInsects,rodents, and humans have similar nervous, circulatory, and respiratory systems, so pesticides can affect people too!Health effects - short- or long-term
  12. 12. Health risks Carcinogenic Mutagenic Teratogenic (interfere with normal embryonic development) Birth defectsSYMTOMS Reproductive problemrash, headache, Liver, Kidney, Neuralnausea, dizziness damage Other fatal effect
  13. 13. Current scenario• Rejection of Nepalese agricultural commodities (honey and tea) in EU market• Lack of enforcement of GAP• Lack of Pesticide Residue Monitoring Plan and Mechanism• Lack of awareness about risks and safety issues• Low national priority
  14. 14. Government Interventions• Till 2010, GoN set obligatory pesticide residue restriction (MRLs) in some foods • Cereals, pulses & their products • Processed water • Infant foods• From 1995-2007, the total samples contaminated with pesticides were 12.1%• Analysis of honey and tea showed that pesticide residues in Nepalese honey is below MRLs established by EU and Codex.• DFTQC developed RMP which is on the process of finalizing with the trading allies• Pesticide related Reference Material production and dissemination by DFTQC.
  15. 15. Pesticides in Nepalese foods (1995-2007)Total samples analysed: 1034No. of contaminated samples: 126
  16. 16. Government Interventions contd…• Total diet study (TDS) conducted in 2009 and 2010• Diet analysed for 97 types of pesticides• Revealed the use of banned pesticides in cereals, pulses, vegetables, beaten rice and bread.• Random samples of food items collected from • Ilam, Jhapa, Dhankuta, Morang and Sunsari • Chitwan, Hetauda, Janakpur, Sindhupalchowk and Dhading • Gorkha and Kaski • Nepalgunj and Surkhet • Mahendranagar, Dadeldhura, Kanchanpur, Doti• Residue of chlorpyrophos, malathion, cypermethrin and fenvalerate were found in bread.
  17. 17. Good Practices as preventive tool• Pesticides are used in household level, hotels and restaurants for the control of insects and pests• Various codes of conduct and good practices developed • Keeping the food away from pesticides • Separate storage of chemicals and eatables • Proper cleaning of utensils • Washing the fruits and vegetable with plenty of water • Preventing the access of the pests/ proofing of entrances and other access points • Use of electronic pest killers • Periodic cleaning of the floor and tables
  18. 18. Ways forward• Strict enforcement of GAP• Focus on awareness programs• Formation of RMP and its mechanism• Building analytical capability of laboratory and human resources• Co-ordination of multi-organization: Dept of Agriculture, DFTQC, Dept. of veterinary, consumers, farmers, agro-enterperneurs, media etc.• Alternative technologies(biobased pesticides, less toxic chemicals, less dependent cropping system)
  19. 19. “Food is not food if it is not safe.” Thank you for your patience

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