Unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances causes more than 200 diseases that claim an estimated 2 million lives globally each year, said the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Vietnam.

WHO in Vietnam made the warning on the occasion of World Health Day (April 7).

The organisation marks World Health Day this year by applauding the government for its commitment to improve food safety in Vietnam. It also urges all consumers and producers to observe food safety to save lives and improve people’s health.

"Food safety assurance is the responsibility of all consumers and producers along the food chain from farm to plate," WHO Acting Representative Jeffery Kobza said in a press release.

"Food producers, manufacturers and traders in Vietnam need to take responsibility for the safety of food they produce and trade while consumers must take preventive measures and follow good food safety practices."

According to WHO, unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances, causes more than 200 diseases – ranging from diarrhoea to chronic diseases such as cancers. Unsafe food creates a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition, particularly affecting children and older people.

Diseases caused by unsafe food impede socioeconomic development, burden health-care systems, and harm national economies, tourism and trade.

WHO is working with the Vietnam Food Administration and other key partners to promote people’s health through ensuring food safety.-VNA