Food safety is increasingly viewed as an essential public health issue in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Despite efforts to modernize food safety laws, there is limited information available to fully evaluate the food safety problems and issues. Many countries have not established surveillance or reporting mechanisms adequate to identify and track foodborne diseases.
Foodborne diseases are generally perceived as mild and self-limiting illnesses, and constitute a fact of daily life in this region. Medications, if used at all, are bought over-the-counter and disease episodes go unreported. Some diseases, like diarrhea and cholera, are frequently viewed as strictly waterborne - rather than foodborne -diseases. Medical attention often is sought too late, when the disease has become extremely debilitating and only drastic treatment might be effective.
Animal diseases have been the driving force for food safety reforms in the Eastern Mediterranean Region as it struggles to contain outbreaks of brucellosis, rabies, and animal-related salmonellosis.
Consumer organizations in the Eastern Mediterranean Region
Consumer organizations in the Eastern Mediterranean Region have identified as principal concerns the quality of manufactured food, pesticides, and food safety education and awareness.
For the most recent news and alerts from the North Africa/Middle East Region, visit the Safe Food International Regional News website. Read about the following topics from the European Region:
- Middle East/North Africa Food/Waterborne Illness Outbreaks
- Middle East/North Africa Food Safety Studies
- Middle East/North Africa Food Safety Policy Issues
- Animal/Plant Health Issues
For more information about the North Africa & Mideast Region, see the SFI publication Global & Local.