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Why not to let your guard down, keep food safe!

The whole world is slowly getting to grips with managing Covid-19 which will see

people going out more and enjoying meals together. With International Food Safety

Day being remembered on 7 June it made me think of all the precautions we

have been taking to keep safe and well. We must not forget that we need to keep

these protocols continually front of mind.

According to The WHO, unsafe food causes on average 600 million cases of

foodborne illnesses and 420 000 deaths a year. 30% of the deaths occur in children

under five years of age. Hand washing is a priority, hands that are not washed well

can cause respiratory infections like flu and the common cold and not to mention the

deadly Covid-19 and numerous diarrheal illnesses. Hand washing is most important

when handling food be it a hospitality facility or at home we must not let our guard


Most germs do not cause diseases but those that do usually come from water, soil,

people and animals. Cross contamination is one of the areas that needs to be

considered with utensils, cloths and surfaces where food is prepared.

Key times to protect all of those for whom you prepare food:

  • Before, during and after preparation of food.

  • Before eating

  • Before and after treating a wound

  • Before and after caring people who are sick

  • After handling pets

  • After rest room usage

  • After coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose

  • After touching waste

We should also make sure to that we wash our vegetables before preparation.

Farmers need to make sure that they water their lands with water that is not

contaminated. Consumers trust that farmers make sure that the produce they are

buying is grown in a safe environment. There have been out breaks of Listeria,

Salmonella and E Coli which can have had severe consequences to communities in

rural areas where medical attention is often far from the homes of those effected.

A study done by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, suggests that soaking

vegetables in a solution of, a teaspoon of baking soda and two cups of water for at

least two minutes helps to clean the vegetables from dirt and to kill harmful microbes

as well as removing pesticide residue. The solution is slightly alkaline and will

preserve the chlorophyll in the vegetables keeping their vibrant colour when cooking.

Baking soda is a common ingredient found in most homes.

Now that we are eating well to keep healthy, let’s keep the food safe with simple

protocols of keeping it clean. Hands, surfaces, utensils and the fresh food you bring


Keep Safe.

Sources: Food Safety News


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Are you a startup agribusiness? Are you a smallholder farmer? Do you need support to take your business to the next level? View the AAC Market Support Programme website for more information. Share your story and apply, contact Debbie Payne at email deborah.payne@agricouncil.org.

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About the African Agri Council NPC (AAC)

The African Agri Council NPC (AAC) is a non profit pan African institution that promotes the development of sustainable food and agriculture in Africa. We are a network of key stakeholders connected to Africa’s entire food and agriculture business value chain.

We work with governments, investors and project owners and developers to accelerate investment into bankable agricultural projects, and bring together food and agriculture buyers and sellers and with a focus on attaining and improving access to regional and international markets.

Our networking platforms bring together thousands of members, partners, government representatives, investors, consultants, technology providers, retailers, farmers, aggregators and traders to connect, share knowledge and together help grow Africa’s agricultural sector. For more information visit www.agricouncil.org.

We run four annual events including virtual events. These range in size from 400 to 950 participants. Our African Agri Investment Indaba (AAII) held in Cape Town is now Africa's largest agribusiness and investment conference. The Investment Food Forum (IFF), Market Access Africa (MAA) and AFTI Summit have attracted a lot of interest from various stakeholders and partners. As a member, you will receive a discount off the registration fees of our events. Visit www.agricouncil.org to see our upcoming event dates and become a member.

For more information get in touch with Cindy Euston-Brown via email cindy.eustonbrown@agricouncil.org or go to www.agricouncil.org.