Food Hygiene for Child Health - An Overlooked Opportunity.
Food contamination is an important cause of enteric infections in low-resource settings. This is especially true for vulnerable groups such as infants of weaning age. Not only are complementary foods often contaminated, but this age-group's less developed immunogenicity makes them receptive to infection.
Complementary food hygiene has been seen as an issue for food safety professionals, but the outcomes of interest and potential interventions also concern the WASH sector. The majority of the foodborne disease burden is attributable to diarrhoeagenic agents causing childhood illness, clearly linked to poor environmental conditions and hygiene practices (FERG 2015).
A growing body of evidence on the effect of simple hygiene practices on reducing food contamination and diarrhoeal disease in this vulnerable group have shown promising results. However, the question of how this evidence should be integrated into existing household hygiene policy and practice has yet to be fully explored.
This session proposes to act as a catalyst to bridge between research and practice. It will be split into two sections; the first presents new evidence on the effect of food hygiene interventions on food contamination and health outcomes. The second shares implementation examples and presents the ongoing collaboration to develop a global practitioner's manual.